ECCO is a non-profit coalition of local community service agencies, businesses, and individuals that work together to identify needs in the community and provide emergency outreach to the citizens of Elbert County, Colorado. The collaboration between the different agencies helps to identify gaps in services in the community and provide efficiency in filling those gaps or access to resources that an individual organization would not otherwise have access to. Several hundred people are assisted in one way or another through services that ECCO provides. Their mission statement is “Strengthening Families and Connecting Communities”.
ECCO was created as a non-profit in 2006 and has been providing emergency outreach services to the citizens of Elbert County since then. ECCO works with families to help them become self-sufficient and one of their core purposes is offering emergency client services to individuals. They can also refer clients to other agencies that can provide additional or different types of assistance. Another key service is providing coaching and life skills development to clients in budgeting, job search, financial planning and self development.
ECCO also gives back through larger community wide efforts, like helping to provide winter outerwear and school supplies or collaborating with local agencies and community groups to collect gifts and foo items for children and families for the holidays. Clients are referred by social services, victims’ advocates, women’s crisis and family outreach centers, schools, churches, and others in the community. Additionally, they provide an option for community service for home school families, 4-H, and the local judicial systems.
ECCO runs a thrift store in Kiowa, Colorado that contains an amazing selection of clothing, home decor, books, toys, jewelry, home goods, and so much more! The store also provides emergency clothing, food, and household items to those in need. The thrift store is a primary source of funds for their work, so they rely on shoppers to help keep the programs going. They also hold fundraisers and community awareness events throughout the year.