LIFT-UP of Routt County turns 15 years old |

LIFT-UP of Routt County turns 15 years old

Nonprofit organization still needs support to help local residents

Jack Weinstein

LIFT-UP of Routt County volunteers Danny Tebbenkamp and Candace Noriega stock the selves of the food bank Monday afternoon. LIFT-UP is marking its 15th year serving Steamboat Springs.

— For 15 years, LIFT-UP of Rout County has provided assistance services to residents in need. That hasn't changed.

"Since 2009, we haven't seen the need slow down," LIFT-UP Assistant Director Julie Jordan said. "Some months it's food, others it's rent assistance or medical. We have not seen a turnaround yet."

Jordan said the economic recovery in the county and Steamboat Springs has occurred slowly, and the local working class is seeking assistance.

As that continues, she said LIFT-UP, which turned 15 this month, needs all the help it can get to continue serving local residents. Jordan said that could include cash to support its assistance programs; food for its LIFT-UP of Routt County food banks, which operate in Oak Creek, Steamboat and Hayden; or volunteering.

"We are always looking for assistance," Jordan said. "Our clients, we always see a stream of people coming in."

Food bank and case manager Sherri McKnight said LIFT-UP helps people whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, she said that's $44,700, or $21,780 for a single person. She said people in emergency situations also are considered case by case.

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McKnight said people can access the food bank twice per year. She said other services, including rent, utility, prescription medication, medical and dental assistance services are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

But McKnight said LIFT-UP won't turn anyone away before evaluating the person's situation.

"When able, we try to help all those in need," she said. "We're always open and willing to talk to anyone about what's going on in their life at the time."

The Steamboat Springs Ministerial Association and local churches created the nonprofit LIFT-UP in May 1996 when they saw the need to consolidate charitable assistance programs, Jordan said. She said the thrift store, which supports all its programs, opened in October 1997.

Jordan said the food banks opened in Oak Creek in October 2000 and in Hayden in May 2001. She said they offer all LIFT-UP assistance services.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

How to help

To make a donation or volunteer, call LIFT-UP of Routt County Assistant Director Julie Jordan at 970-870-0727.

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