Founded in 1990, Mountain Resource Center (MRC) is the only agency along the Highway 285 corridor that provides multiple, related services for low-income residents of Western Jefferson and Eastern Park counties. Mountain Resource Center's 1,000 square mile rural service area encompasses a census tract that comprises 16 people per square mile compared to the state average of 52 people per square mile. A large part of our service area is designated as low access, which means that over 33% of the census tract’s population lives over ten miles away from the nearest grocery store (USDA Food Access Research Atlas.) As one might imagine, living in a geographically isolated community means that residents must travel farther distances for all necessary services, not just food. 97% of the 1288 households MRC serves are living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, which for a family of four is $60,000/year. Our clients face low access to services and the oftentimes unaffordable cost of those same services.
The agency’s integrated services approach aligns with that of a typical multi-service nonprofit; this type of organization is deeply connected to the surrounding community and offers a wide variety of services that residents and public officials can trust (The Bridgespan Group, “Clients at the Center: Realizing the Potential of Multi-Service Organizations, 2011.) MRC's family education and parent support programs, veterans support, basic needs assistance, and food pantry work in unison to offer residents a cohesive approach that simultaneously address a myriad of needs. Clients receive immediate help through the food pantry and rent/mortgage and utility financial assistance. Once a client’s short-term need is addressed, the Center's family education, parent support, mental health, and workforce programs work to solve other underlying problems