Success Stories

How Resource Navigators Impact Workers' Lives through the Sustainable Workforce Model

An Expected Setback

When Janice's* husband lost his job, she thought it would be a short-term bout of unemployment. After six months of unemployment and increasingly severe depression, it became apparent that her husband might not bounce back from the layoff so quickly.

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Janice met with a Navigator to have a sounding board for dealing with these difficulties. Together, they identified resources that Janice hadn't had the time to pursue, including local food banks and some state services. As the holidays drew closer, the Navigator was able to help them with holiday assistance from the Boeing company, which provided Janice’s daughter with a new bike and some much-needed joy during the holiday season. With support from her Navigator, Janice continues to manage some of the many challenges her family faces while staying employed and in good standing with her job.


From Debt to Savings

Dominic* came to his Navigator because he wanted to fix his credit score. He was struggling with overdue bills and didn't know where to start.

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The Navigator ran his credit and noticed a couple of bills in collections that were health related. She verified with Dominic and DHHS that he was active on Medicaid and had insurance for some of those bills. They called together to inform the billing hospital that they needed to bill Medicaid and the other insurance.

The hospital rebilled and the bills got paid. Next, the Navigator helped Dominic get a loan through the Network Member's partnership with a local credit union to pay off another bill in collections and start building positive credit. Now, Dominic has a plan and is working toward his financial goals.

Becoming a Better Manager

Lauren* was struggling with both her personal and management skills. Her team wasn’t working well together, and she wanted to be able to help them change.

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She reached out to a Navigator for guidance around team building and personal professional development. The Navigator developed a team-building exercise for Lauren’s staff, building relationships and defining common goals in the workplace. When Lauren and her Navigator reevaluated the team, her employees reported stronger relationships with individual staff members and felt more committed to supporting each other. And with that stronger collaboration and motivation, the team’s productivity jumped as well.


Walking a Tightrope

Don* had been recently released from prison when his probation officer told him that he needed to enroll in counseling and attend a support group weekly to comply with his probation. Don didn’t know where to go or how to fit in these appointments without jeapordizing his job.

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Don’s Navigator met him at work during his break to see what could be done. The Navigator did the research to find counselors who were accepting new clients, accepted the employee’s health insurance, were also located near his work and had evening appointments. The Navigator also found a support group that met on the weekends and helped Don plan out the bus schedule to get there in time. That plan made it possible for Don to fulfill his probation without losing his job and his income.

Getting Out from Underwater

Cindy* was a new arrival to Colorado raising her 5-year-old granddaughter alone. When she discovered that childcare costs were much higher than in her home state, she started falling behind.

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She was behind on her bills, most importantly her car payment. Her job required traveling between several sites a day and the car was a must-have for the job. She was 3 months behind on the payments and in danger of repossession when she reached out to her Navigator.

To stabilize the situation in the short term, the Navigator was able to get her caught up on utility payments through Energy Outreach Colorado. The Navigator reached out to another local nonprofit that was able to locate less expensive child care. Finally, after Cindy participated in an 8-hour financial training course, they decided together that a bankruptcy was needed to help get her out of debt and back on her feet. The Navigator called on a partnership with a Denver law firm to get a low-cost bankruptcy and used the cash flow savings to purchase a cheaper vehicle.

Now, Cindy is using the principles she learned in the financial training and is on track to getting a down payment for a house with the money saved from reduced childcare, transportation and housing expenses.

Feeling Human Again

A family of six was living in a motel room. Exhausted with their situation, Diane* decided to seek help from a Navigator.

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Together, the Navigator and Diane sat down and discussed all the needs of the family. The Navigator was able to link the family with a variety of resources. Diane and her family received bus passes, food and clothing to help meet some of their most basic needs. The Navigator also helped the family to secure a place within a 60-day transitional housing program that would help them progress toward stability.

“With this we will have an address and be able to think further ahead; thanks for not brushing us off because of our situation.  I am so thankful for your assistance through all these hard times and how you helped us to have a main thought of the bigger picture.  It makes us feel like we are human again and that we matter.”


Dream of Home Ownership

Joe* and his wife were struggling to save money. After hearing a presentation from his Navigator at a monthly staff meeting, Joe knew he needed to seek out her assistance.

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First he met with the Navigator to find childcare for his 14-month-old so that his wife could return to work. His Navigator helped him find an affordable option, and with the extra income, he was able to think about the future. He returned to his Navigator to share his long-term goal of becoming a homeowner.

His Navigator told him about financial workshops that his employer offered onsite. Joe decided to take the classes and learned about setting and achieving a financial goal. A year later, Joe and his wife went through the Champlain Housing Trust Home Buyer Workshop, and they are now proud homeowners.

Years of Unpaid Taxes

Esteban* owed $53,000 in back taxes and had not filed taxes for many years when he finally reached out to his Navigator. They sat down to figure out what had gone wrong and how he could set it right.

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The Navigator discovered that he had 3 exemptions on his W-2 but did not claim his children as dependents. The decided to reduce his exemptions right away so he did not owe anything the next tax season. They also worked together to gather all of his W-2 forms from the missing years and find out where and when he could get his overdue taxes done. The Navigator connected Esteban to a certified tax rep who completed his necessary taxes and called the IRS with him to roll the amount he owed into a payment plan. Together they were able to get him up to date on his taxes without raising his monthly payment.

Falling Behind and Facing Eviction

Nicole* reached out her Navigator because she had been out of work on medical leave and fallen behind on her rental payments. She was in danger of being evicted and didn’t know what to do.

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Together, they completed a State Emergency Funds application for help paying her rent to prevent her being evicted. DHHS approved a portion of the funds, but Nicole had to pay a copayment before DHHS could pay the rest. The Navigator helped Nicole talk to HR, and they approved a vacation payout that covered her copayment. With this help, Nicole was able to pay all her overdue rent and keep her home. She was back at work the next week.

*Names have been changed to preserve employee confidentiality