The Matthew's House offers a wide variety of programs for individuals, families and youth in Larimer County, and this week "Tuned In to NoCo" got the down-low of a special program they are offering called Parent Cafe.

The Matthew's House Parent Cafe Coordinator, Kristen Caporelli, and Co-Worker, Margaret Watson, told us that this program was created to help strengthen the families in our community, and Caporelli says this program is all about providing support to those in need.

"Parent Cafe in a nutshell builds up the protective factors of resilience, relationships, knowledge, support and communication in families. When we meet we talk about these factors and it's basically peer-to-peer learning...We are trying to build up these factors to reduce child abuse and neglect and ensure safety in the home. We are also providing a meal at every class. For example, during the class on Thursday nights, Oreganos partnered with us to provide the meal —  it's amazing."

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Caporelli says one out of ten families in Northern Colorado lives at or below the poverty line. So, this meal alone helps them out a great deal. Watson also says it's a great way to get helpful resources.

"It is a unique way of connecting with parents and caregivers. It's so relaxed and nonjudgmental. We are really confidential. People don't need to make a commitment to it. You can come once. You can come three times and then we have the people who continue for five years. It's just a hidden gem, in a way. We would love to have more participants."

Caporelli says that last year they worked with about 3,600 individuals and about 100 families participate in Parent Cafe every semester.

"We have four semesters a year. The program is open registration. There is no requirement — you just walk in. We provide a meal, child care and the evidence-based parenting class Parent Cafe."

For more information about Parent Cafe or The Matthew's House and their other programs click here. 

To listen to the full interview, check out the link below.

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