The Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance (MIRA) on Wednesday issued the following press release about celebrating two years of service in Eagle County:
On June 30, 2020, the Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance (MIRA) celebrated its two-year anniversary of serving Eagle County residents. MIRA connects people to resources and offers support to ensure a better future.
“The goal of MIRA is to bring resources and services directly to people, and we could not have made the progress we have without the support of our partners in the community,” said Melina Valsecia, MIRA Community Connector and Manager. “We have served more than 12,700 community members during the two years of operation and were able to step up in two crucial crisis times to help – first during the Lake Christine Fire and most-recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those are perfect examples of why MIRA was established.”
MIRA serves as a single-stop, comprehensive, integrated and culturally-relevant approach to resource connection and service delivery where people are. Utilizing a 40-foot RV, donated by Vail Health, MIRA travels to neighborhoods, community sites and workplaces throughout Eagle County and provides resources such as basic health education and screenings, support in applying to public assistance programs, food resources, workforce development, and coordination with early childhood and physical activity programming. The resources and services are provided by a wide variety of local community organizations, supporting the concept of an “alliance” which provides a platform to feature all partners involved in the project.
“MIRA has been a valuable resource in our community and serves as an example to other communities on how public and private cooperation can benefit an underserved population,” said Will Cook, Vail Health President and CEO. “MIRA is a collaborative community service that is making Eagle County a better place to live and work.”
Eagle County Public Health and Environment (ECPHE) is responsible for the day-to-day operations of MIRA. ECPHE raises funds, coordinates partners and convenes stakeholders. Vail Health donated the 40-foot RV that became MIRA in 2018. ECO Transit maintains, insures, stores and drives the MIRA bus. Eagle Valley Community Foundation funds a full-time community connector on the MIRA bus. Eagle County Paramedics Services provide basic medical services on MIRA twice a week. Neighborhood Navigators of Eagle County works with MIRA to support connecting residents with local resources and enhances grassroots leadership. The Community Market provides free, nutritious food for MIRA customers to take home. In conjunction with MIRA, Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement provides family-based programming about environmental stewardship, and Mountain Recreation provides fitness and health education. Vail Health and Eagle County Sheriff’s Office provide education also in the form of the ThinkFirst bike safety and pedestrian safety programs for children and their parents.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MIRA and the staff responded to thousands of Eagle County residents’ needs, providing free COVID-19 genetic and antibody testing, in partnership with Vail Health, as well as food, in partnership with the Community Market and Eagle County School District, behavioral health resource information from EVBH and formula and other basic needs.
“We are so proud of the community collaboration epitomized by MIRA. The communities, the county, and all of the MIRA partners have worked hard to connect our residents with resources. The benefits are wide-ranging and long-lasting,” said Kathy Chandler-Henry, Chair of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners. “We see its value daily, and especially in times of greater need such as COVID-19 and wildfires.”
MIRA services 19 communities across Eagle County, including Eagle Villas Apartments, Eagle Valley Middle School, Eagle Methodist Church, and Eagle Town Park in Eagle; Crawford Mobile Home Park in El Jebel; Lake Creek Village, Eagle River Village and Interfaith Chapel in Edwards; Aspen Mobile Home Park, Avon Elementary, Riverview Apartments and Eagle Bend Apartments in Avon; Dotsero Mobile Home Park and Two Rivers Village in Dotsero; Gypsum Rec Center, Gypsum Paramedics Building, the Community Market, Ridley’s Market and 2nd Street in Gypsum. The bus also makes appearances at special community events.
Carlos Castro, 62, lives in Gypsum and worked in a hotel in Vail for 24 years. Due to COVID-19, his job was on hold, and he was unsure of where to turn for help or what to do next. He called MIRA after hearing a radio ad in Spanish. After five visits to MIRA, Carlos is doing better and feels supported within the community.
“I am happy to visit MIRA every time; and moreover, because of the help I have received, I have no words to thank for all the excellent service and assistance from the staff. They told me about where to get food I did not know existed,” said Carlos. “When I heard on the radio about MIRA, I called immediately, and we started working on paperwork to submit for unemployment benefits, financial assistance to pay my mortgage and other bills. I thought I would lose my home. I thought I would die of hunger. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. And on the bus, I found hope to keep up with my situation. I received more help than I expected. Thank you so much!”
The data below represent numbers, including emergency responses.
|TOTAL IN 2 YEARS||1st year||2nd year||TOTAL|
|Total people Served||4477||8310||12787|
The data below is separated by normal operation and emergency response. During the first year of operation, MIRA was utilized for 10 days for Lake Christine Fire Response. In the second year of operation, 58 days were spent as COVID-19 relief response, including utilizing the MIRA phone number as a hotline and responding to residents’ needs via social media, resulting in assisting more than 400 people.
|1yr wo emergency||1yr emergency||TOTAL 1yr|
|Total people Served||2521||1765||4286|
|2yr wo emergency||2yr emergency||TOTAL 2yr|
|Total people Served||1956||6545||8501|