As the economy continues to sputter, more people are finding they need assistance making ends meet. This month, we’re taking a look at some of the programs, organizations, and issues facing the Pikes Peak region with a look at social services.

You can download the full episode, or listen to it here.

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You can also head to the individual segments by clicking any of the links below.

Roundtable: Social Services in the Pikes Peak Region
Bike Clinic Too
Taking a Look at Child Health Plan Plus
2-1-1, the Social Services Hotline
Aging Boomers
El Paso County’s Poor Farm

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.




Roundtable: Social Services in the Pikes Peak Region

Left to Right: Rick Bengtsson, Bob Holmes, Andrea Chalfin, Carolyn McDole

This month’s roundtable discussion features Carolyn McDole, Executive Director of Ecumenical Social Ministries, Rick Bengtsson, who heads the El Paso County Department of Human Services, and Bob Holmes, director of Homeward Pikes Peak. We begin with introductions, and descriptions of what each group does.

You can download, or listen to the conversation as aired (about 20 minutes):

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You can also listen to or download the full conversation here (about 55 minutes):

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Bike Clinic Too

Bike Clinic Too Slide Show:

In an area with as much sprawl and as little public transportation as Colorado Springs, getting around on little or no income can be an enormous challenge. One small local non-profit that operates out of garage on Bijou Hill near downtown has stepped in to help address the problem. Noel Black reports.

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You can find out more about Bike Clinic Too on Facebook HERE.




Taking a Look at Child Health Plan Plus

According to the organization All Kids Covered, the number of children in the state with health insurance is around 90%. That means one in every 10 Colorado kids lacks access to affordable, insured healthcare. KRCC reporter Kate Jonuska researched one program striving to close that 10 percent gap called Child Health Plan Plus, or CHP+.

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2-1-1, the Social Services Hotline

2-1-1 Community Specialist, Rosa Sanchez

Most folks know to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency situation. Those first responders though, are public safety oriented—fire, police and medical. People facing other types of emergency situations may not know where to turn. That’s where 2-1-1 comes in. The hotline is a service of the United Way, and strives to connect people in need of food, utilities, medical services and the like with the agencies that provide assistance. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin has this look at 2-1-1 in the Pikes Peak region.

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Aging Boomers

You’ve probably heard a lot about how America is getting grayer as baby boomers enter their senior years. For the next 18 years, in fact, boomers will turn 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer examines the phenomenon of aging boomers, and asks if we’re prepared for the impact of the Woodstock generation on our social services for seniors.

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El Paso County’s Poor Farm

The terms “poor house” and “poor farm” have made their way into popular culture throughout the years. But the terms poor house and poor farm refer to real places. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many counties across America operated one. KRCC’s Craig Richardson finds that El Paso County was no exception.

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