Routt to Work envisions a connected, vibrant, healthy, and productive community. Routt to Work has the following mission: to educate and engage individuals working to achieve goals of personal well-being, financial stability, and community connectedness.
Twenty percent of Routt County’s families are living in poverty. Many are employed, and some even work two or three or even four jobs but still can be considered the “working poor” due to the expense of living in a rural/resort county. Some are victims of the cliff effect and earn only several dollars more per paycheck than the eligibility cutoff and, as a result, no longer receive food, child care assistance or medical assistance. In order to address deeper issues related to poverty, Routt to Work offers support and resources to those who live at or below the self-sufficiency line in Routt County and who are actively working on reaching goals that will improve their lives.
Routt to Work has three “phases,” which are discussed in detail below. The program and its phases serve community institutions, leaders, and members as well as people living in generational and situational poverty.
Routt to Work’s first graduating class, June 2016.
Phase1 – Talk it Up: A half-day event that engages the community in education and training around poverty and its impact in Routt County. Routt to Work continues to “Talk it Up” throughout the year by offering education and training to employers and other stakeholders.
Phase 2 – Step it Up: An eight-week class that teaches participants a structured goal achievement process which they use to accomplish small goals in each of the five Aspects of Life (personal, Financial, Health, Employment/Career, Family). Participants live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and are truly a special group of people; many have been through very, very tough times but are ready and able to commit to making changes. Participants choose their own goals and all of this occurs on all on a very small scale to maximize understanding, success, and hence confidence-building. The facilitators and participants bond as a group and support each other in the conversational classes. Meals, childcare, and a small stipend are provided.
Phase 3 – Move it Up: A 10 month phase in which participants that complete Step it Up are matched with a community member (coach). The pairs use the structured goal achievement process participants learned during Step it Up to accomplish larger goals that support increased stability in the participant’s life. The entire group meets monthly to engage in reflection, goal-setting, and a relevant learning component. Meals, childcare, and a small stipend are provided.
Routt to Work is a collaborative effort among the Routt County Department of Human Services, Lift-Up of Routt County, and Routt County United Way.