This week Welcome Home Montrose is awed to look back on a year of excitement, exploration, new ideas and phenomenal growth. In April of 2012, a focus group of 200 citizens gathered at the Montrose Pavilion, which had been donated for our use by the City of Montrose.
“We came together to study aspects of our community, to see if we were ready to embark on the Welcome Home Montrose initiative,” Welcome Home Montrose Founder Melanie Kline said. “A lot has happened since then.”
Milestones reached over the past year include growing the initial list of supporters from 200 to 600; opening the Warrior Resource Center at Main Street and Park Avenue–through which Welcome Home Montrose has registered and provided services to nearly 300 veterans; creating partnerships with and receiving pledges of support from six different local entities; and compiling a regular volunteer database of roughly 140 people (not counting those volunteering specifically for No Barriers Week June 11-17.
“We needed a place where veterans could support each other,” Kline said of the Warrior Resource Center, which opened in September of 2012. “We also had the goal of looking at local services, identifying gaps and filling them in. Christ’s Kitchen has helped us to fight hunger among veterans, and we are working very hard to get housing vouchers here in Montrose so that we can help fight homelessness among veterans as well.”
When Montrose recently submitted its application for the All American Cities award, the city was named a finalist thanks to the inclusion of Welcome Home Montrose its three-pronged submission, which focused on the saving of the local lumber mill, the progress made by the Downtown Development Authority and Main Street programs, and Welcome Home Montrose. The All American Cities Award is spotlighting communities that are helping veterans this year. In June, a delegation of at least 30 people representing Montrose will attend the competition in Denver, with the winner and the top ten cities to be announced at the weekend’s end.
OTHER NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Warrior Center Executive Director Emily Smith reminds local veterans that the veterans’ benefits representative will see veterans on the Western Slope April 15-19. The rep will be in Olathe on April 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Hall at 315 South Fifth Street, and in Montrose on April 18 at the VA Outpatient Clinic at 4 Hillcrest Plaza Way from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are necessary at the Clinic, and can be made by calling 970-249-7791.
Gifted singer, songwriter and musician David Berkeley will perform in Montrose on behalf of Welcome Home Montrose on May 9 at Turn of the Century Saloon, 121 NW Fourth Street. David will sing “I’m Coming Home,” a song written especially for the occasion. Don’t miss the chance to catch David on his “Some Kind of Cure” tour! Opening at the show in May will be some excellent local musicians, including Paul Chamberlain, Stephen Felberg, and the Foster Hill trio.
The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, locally known as Welcome Home Montrose, is a grassroots community initiative inspired by the determination and courage of Corporal Todd Love, his father Gary Love, and USMC Sergeant (Retired) Jared Bolhuis. Our goal is to make Montrose Colorado a “no barriers” city and invite America’s wounded troops to live in this community where they can have the opportunity to thrive. Programs established to date include the Warrior Resource Center at Park Avenue and Main Street, the Dream Job Program, and Business Window Sticker Program. Please contact us to learn how you can contribute! Our corporate office is located in Timberline Bank (1561 Oxbow Dr.), and can be reached at 970-765-2210.Welcome Home Montrose is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and runs entirely on donations of all kinds at the Resource Center and on the website, www.WelcomeHomeMontrose.org.