Two exceptional charities join forces to create a powerhouse of support for warriors.
We are stronger together, and supporting military members, veterans, and their families in our community unites us all. Two of the most visible and noteworthy nonprofit organizations that have worked within the Colorado Springs community for more than a decade merged together at the end of 2019. Colorado Home Front Cares and Peak Military Care Network (PMCN) have become the Home Front Military Network (HFMN) with increased reach and impact.
When it was founded in 2003, the goal of Home Front Cares was to provide an emergency financial bridge for Colorado’s military service personnel, veterans, and their families, ensuring they received financial, family, and emotional counseling. PMCN was a collaborative organization that connected the same group of people to the highest quality resources provided by the organization’s community partners. The two organizations came together with the goal of providing even better service for all who need it and additionally streamlining access to key services, resulting in significant cost savings with more revenue to spend on programming that can have an immediate impact on the military community.
Kate Hatten is the executive director of HFMN. “We decided that we could do better and be stronger together,” she says of the new blended organization. “As we went through our due diligence process with both boards to make sure that this made sense, we decided that working in partnership ended the fragmentation of both organizations, and in addition, we had worked together in various partnerships in the past and knew, in joining forces, we could not just offer financial assistance, but expand to give wraparound care for the whole family.”
Hatten has been with PMCN since the beginning, becoming part of HFMN in January 2020 and helping to shape the fledgling organization. “This includes immediate crisis relief and long-term care that these families need to help them thrive going forward,” she says. “Our combined mission is to give families the resources they need and provide emergency assistance through a more holistic approach.”
Marsha Unruh manages the Veteran in Charge Program at The Independence Center, an HFMN partner. She is grateful to have professionals with whom she can collaborate. “We work together to support military families, veterans, and active-duty military,” says Unruh. “HFMN really helps the individuals that we serve because they have lots of resources available…I also think it’s really important that the organization talks about trends and issues that are happening within the community.”
Hatten shared a couple of stories with us from people who have benefited greatly from HFMN. For example, “Larry,” a U.S. Army veteran, experienced financial hardship because of COVID-19 and was on the verge of being evicted when he called HFMN. “You just get to a point where you feel like nobody gives a damn,” he says. “I thought I was going to lose everything…you just feel this terrible sense that everything’s closing in on you, you know? You just feel this weight on you, like here we go again. Does this ever stop, you know?
“And then, when I got the news that I wasn’t going to lose everything, it was just a relief. You know, it’s just a weight lifted off of your soul. It just reassures my belief in general that there are people out there that will help you, even if they don’t know you. It’s all of us working together, you know. Especially people that care about other people. There’s people that do care. Sometimes you don’t find them right away, but eventually you just keep pushing, and someone’s going to help you out. I thank God for people like the Home Front Military Network.”
In addition, “B. Jordan” found herself experiencing hardship because she hadn’t been able to secure a full-time job since she was discharged from the Army in 2019. HFMN assisted with her paying her utilities to keep her lights on. “Without the assistance I received,” she says, “I definitely feel like I would have lost everything—home, car, and sanity! If it weren’t for the assistance received, I hate to imagine where I would be.”
HFMN isn’t the only organization working to give back to those who sacrifice for our country. Check out the sidebar for many others—perhaps some will surprise you.