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PVHS opens Corbett House to help youth in Larimer County
Poudre Valley Health System
For immediate release: July 19, 2011

Gary Kimsey: 970.495-7427

Poudre Valley Health System opened a new service July 18 that will help youth in Larimer County who may be homeless and are in need of skills so they can be come self-sufficient.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held July 19 for the opening of Corbett House, a comfortable residential unit at Mountain Crest Behavioral Healthcare Center where up to eight youth will live for one to six months while they learn job readiness skills, continue their schooling, and receive life coaching and other important skills.

Although residents of Corbett House will typically be youth who are homeless, the new facility is not a walk-in homeless shelter. Residents will be youth authorized to be there by the Larimer County Department of Human Services.

In Larimer County, more than 850 youth, ages 17 to 20, are believed to be homeless. Of the chronically homeless population in Fort Collins, about 11 percent are adolescents, compared to the national average of 7 percent.

"The fact that we have any homeless people in our community-particularly youth-is a challenge that we as a community must address," said Rulon Stacey, PVHS president and CEO. "Corbett House is an important way that PVHS can help youth in need."

Kevin Unger, Poudre Valley Hospital president and CEO, said skills and training offered through Corbett House will help the youth live independently and gain employment. "Our goal is for them to learn how to function as productive members of society," he said.

Mountain Crest, a youth and adult psychiatric service of PVH, remodeled an area within its building at Corbett Drive and Harmony Road in southeast Fort Collins to develop the residential unit.

Shari Simmons, manager of Mountain Crest's residential services program, said the youth who will reside at Corbett House will be those who have become too old for the social services system or are in need of skills to live independently.

'Among the skills they will be trained on, the youth will be educated about housing, health care and community resources, as well as such important information as how to use the city's transportation system, write resumes, interview for jobs, maintain a home, and develop healthy relationships with others, Simmons said.

"They'll receive individual attention that will give them the skills we all need to be successful," she pointed out.

The development of Corbett House was helped along by local businesses.

Home State Bank in Fort Collins donated $8,000 worth of living room and dining room furniture. Ironwood Plaza Mini-Storage donated a storage area where dishware, towels and other start-up items can be stored until the youth can take the items with them when they move out on their own.

The Poudre Valley Hospital Volunteer Association donated $33,275 to assist with construction costs. These funds were raised through sales at the volunteer-staffed PVH Gift Shop; Unique Repeats, a thrift store run by the association; and other fundraising efforts by the volunteers.

Sara Tcheshie, a Mountain Crest employee, donated a refrigerator, oven and microwave for the in-house unit. Meanwhile, PVHS staff members conducted a fundraising drive.

Community members can become involved by donating financially to support Corbett House or mentoring a youth, being a guest speaker, teaching living skills, or providing an internship or first-time job opportunity.

For more information, please call Mountain Crest, 207-4867.


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