By Kathy Nadeau, Aftercare coordinator
Excelsior’s Aftercare Program strives to help emancipating girls achieve self-sufficiency, avoid crisis situations through early preparation and provides them with adult guidance and support that may not be available elsewhere. The needs of the Excelsior Aftercare program grow yearly as more clients are emancipated into the community. The Aftercare program is funded entirely through community donations and has one Aftercare Coordinator. This is a big job for just one person!
The financial help for the girls includes, but is not limited to, rent assistance, security deposits, bus fare, gas and grocery vouchers. Additionally, we help equip girls with essential items such as birth certificates, state identification, and social security cards. We also assist with basic needs such as how to obtain health insurance, transportation plans, donated furniture, and household goods. These services are time consuming and challenging to accomplish with one employee.
To expand our Aftercare program, Dave and Glory Weisberg approached Excelsior with the idea of creating an Aftercare Mentor Program. Today volunteers are being recruited and trained to work with our emancipating girls by Excelsior’s Volunteer Coordinator, Gwen King. Mentors will be involved in discharge planning prior to the girl’s emancipation and will follow her into the community to aid her transition process. Having the mentors work with the girls before they discharge ensures the mentors and clients are comfortable with each other and have a level of trust between them. It will also prepare each mentor to best meet the individual needs of their client.
Dave and Glory have shared their dream of the Aftercare Mentor program with their vast network in the Denver community and have been generous donors themselves. They have recruited others to join them on an Advisory Board to promote the funding needs of this expanding program. Through Dave and Glory’s generosity as well as other community support, the Aftercare program has increased financial resources to support our emancipated girls. Dave and Glory are terrific ambassadors for Excelsior and we are blessed to have them involved in our mission.