COMMUNITY LIVING SERVICES: 
The New Normal

[July 2021 | By Eva Veitch, Region 10 Community Living Services Program Director]

I had the pleasure of attending the reopening of the Montrose Senior Center a couple of weeks ago and the excitement was palpable! Everyone was so excited to be together again, as I find myself out and about people are generally smiling and happy to be among each other. We all hope that the days of the masks and isolation are behind us, but the threat still lingers with the new variants rearing their ugly heads daily.

We have all learned a lot about ourselves this past year and half, we have learned about our own self-reliance and resilience. We have learned about loneliness; some have managed better than others and many have faced different types of grief. The grief of death, the grief of not seeing loved ones for long periods of time, the grief of being alone and the fear of the unknown. The one common denominator that we have never faced before is that we have ALL been in it together, regardless of geography, race, religion, sex, or socioeconomic status. Worldwide we all share the same fear, and we all hope this plague leaves soon never to return!

Some families grew stronger, many families grew larger (lol) some home improvement projects got done, some people took up baking or gardening. Some families found that homeschooling and work from home was a good option and will continue. Many families blended generations and have done very well and have become stronger family units.

What lesson have you learned through this unique time? Did you make good use of the time? I was amazed at the outpouring of community support, people who offered to make masks, donated much needed supplies and helped us get them out to those in need. We were blessed with abundant resources for helping people; the food banks were well stocked, and our community partners all worked together to make sure that people were supported.

It is mostly behind us; the economic recovery has started so what is next? Region 10 has a new volunteer program RSVP, and we are busy recruiting volunteers in Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Ouray, San Miguel and Hinsdale counties to help with handyman projects and deliver meals to the homebound. We are helping Shepard’s Hand get a new senior meal program going and working hard to get Senior Companions in all parts of the region. If you would like to help give us call 970-765-3147

Please mark your calendars for September 25th at 5:30 pm in downtown Montrose (on the 300 block of East Main Street). Habitat of the San Juans, Sharing Ministries, JustServe.org and, Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club to host the first annual Dinner on Main Street. The dinner is a long-table, catered barbecue event held in the middle of Main Street. The dinner concept is simple and based around the notion that now, more than ever, we deeply value and appreciate community. In our inaugural year, we are not only celebrating the gift of gathering once again, but also the major milestones for both entities:  Habitat for Humanity’s 30th year anniversary and Sharing Ministry’s 25th!

Tickets are $20 each and available at Our Town Matters, Sharing Ministries and Habitat. All proceeds will equally benefit Sharing Ministries and Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans. All alcohol sales will benefit the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club.  Together again for a good cause!!