Eli Lucio’s mother passed away when he was very young. He spent most of his childhood living with his grandmother in Boulder. At the age of 17, Eli's grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and, believing he was a burden in a dire financial situation, he decided to leave.
Eli landed at an emergency overnight shelter for youth in Boulder run by Attention Homes commonly referred to as The Source, and. He stayed through most of that spring, and continued to attend Boulder High School. In May 2015, he secured a room at The Inn and entered our Student Incentive Program. Eli was able to continue attending Boulder High and his grandmother focused on regaining her health. Eli excelled in school and finished ½ a year early. Shortly after, he moved out to join Job Corps in North Dakota to become an automotive Technician. Job Corp is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career.
It was January when Eli needed to begin his Job Corp program in North Dakota, several months before the May graduation ceremony. It was super important to Eli that he walk at the graduation ceremony, but didn’t have the means to travel back to Boulder. However, when the Longmont Times Call published an article about his accomplishments, several good-hearted readers made donations to help him attend. Their donations covered the costs for his round trip ticket to Denver and a hotel room during his visit! Graduation Day was the proudest day of his life.
The Inn staff has been so impressed by Eli’s fortitude. Like any other teen, he had his struggles but he never lost focus on his goals.
When I needed to talk to someone, I met with Guillermo pretty often. He helped me with insurance, food stamps and everything. I wouldn't have been able to do that on my own." ~ Eli Lucio
At age 15, Carolina met a boy who made her feel important and secure. She became pregnant and moved in with him to make a life together. At 17, another child was born and that anxious trepidation was overwhelming. She was not safe or secure at all. To save herself and her children she fled to her family in Longmont who didn’t have the means or accommodations to take her in. She was terribly frightened of being homeless, until she found The Inn Between.
The Inn Between opened a door to the future for Carolina and her children. When she stepped through our doors, rather than feel anxious trepidation, Carolina felt a determined enthusiasm. She put together a rigorous plan to meet her goals and aspirations. With the help of her case manager who connected her with resources to help her put her plans into action, she flourished. Carolina enrolled in school and completed her high school degree, then went on to continue her education at Front Range Community College. All the while, she made time to participate in Inn Between trainings to help her learn how to get ahead. Meanwhile, her children had the benefit of afterschool homework help and tutoring in our Education Center.
Carolina worked so hard. She wanted better life for herself and her children, and by immersing herself in every aspect of The Inn Between’s supportive housing program, Carolina progressed quickly. Within a year, Carolina was fully employed and supporting her family without welfare assistance. Even with all her responsibilities, she never gave up hope. Without The Inn, she knows her story might have been very different. Now, 20 years later, Carolina is not only proud of what she accomplished but that her children are very stable with professional careers of their own.
In 2005, Maryann arrived at our doors with two precious “belongings”; her two young daughters. When she was welcomed through our doors into her own apartment she remembers feeling the stillness of relief and the quiet of possibilities; finally emancipated from the physical and emotional noise of violence and cultural clamor telling her it was hers to endure.
When Maryann heard her young daughter say, “It’s okay that Daddy hits you” that she became determined to teach her daughter what “okay” really means. Alone and uneducated, Maryann left and found respite and hope at the Inn Between where she made a home for a while, and a path to her future.
What she’d need to accomplish was daunting, yet MaryAnn forged ahead. She found a full time job, paid rent, enrolled in school, and advanced her career. Within a year, Maryann was able to move out with the help of a City of Longmont housing voucher and after three years was entirely independent of outside assistance.
She proudly wants you to know how The Inn Between provided a solid starting point for her to create a stable life for her girls and how it led her to her proudest accomplishment in 2013, when she purchased her own home.
MaryAnn is truly OKAY, and her girls, who are now grown, are making their own way, knowing what it takes to be “okay”.