How Much Should Housing Cost?

The generally accepted rule of thumb for housing costs is 30% of your income. Do the math. Where do you fall on the spectrum? If you live in the Denver metro area and are renting, that percentage has been steadily increasing over the last few years. According to Housing Colorado, one out of every four renters in this beautiful state spends more than 50% of their income on rent. So what do housing costs really look like?

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Image Courtesy of www.makeroomusa.org

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The Stressors of Crisis on a Marriage

Guest Blogger: Brittany Siegel, MA MFT  

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Image credit: Creative Commons

Natural disasters have a profound effect on marriage. A marriage can be tightened or eroded by a disaster. When the unexpected happens, couples can undergo severe strain if they are unable to comfort each other. Of course people make adjustments, but for some their life will never be the same. They will never again have what they had.

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Why I Volunteer with Our Front Porch

Guest Blogger: Erin Stotts, MA, LPCC

Being a volunteer for Our Front Porch is something I do with passion and purpose. It aligns with who I am as a person, a community member, and as a clinician. This adventure that started about two years ago has been everything I had hoped it would be, and much more.   Yes, Our Front Porch is an outstanding start up, but the reason I highly value it goes deeper than just being part of something new.

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Catch Them Being Good: How to Help Kids During Stressful Times

As a follow up to our last blog, Guest Blogger and Behavior Analyst Kristen Stine, M.ED provides some helpful strategies and tactics for parents to use with kids dealing with trauma and stress after a disaster.

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Image Courtesy of Creative Commons

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Stress After a Disaster: Not Just for “Grown Ups”

Guest Blogger: Lisa A. Mazzeo, LCSW, BCD

When adults feel stressed, they can usually pinpoint the related feeling as well as the cause. They typically take appropriate action and hopefully begin to feel better shortly after implementing a strategy like listening to music, walking the beach or going for a drive. They choose anything that might bring a peaceful feeling back to their overall being.

When children feel stress, the cause, identification and intervention is not always that simple. This is due, mostly, to the fact that children have limited vocabulary to express what is going on, underdeveloped coping mechanisms to deal with it and an inability to make sense of what is happening in their environment.

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Image Courtesy of Flickr

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Dealing with Stress after a Disaster

Guest Blogger: Maggie Babyak, LCSW

They say that one of the top three stressors in life is moving. Your normal routines are disrupted, there are weeks of packing and planning to ensure that perfect move day. Then a furniture delivery is late and your carefully planned move day is disrupted. You become angry with the person on the phone who is just trying to help, you become snappy with your significant other and your stress level skyrockets. However, by the end of the day you are in your new home filled with your possessions, cozy in your beds and your family is safe and fast asleep.

Now imagine making eggs on the stove for the kids, rushing around packing their school bags, checking your work email, and getting the dog out the back door for one last run. Then you hear a beeping sound and turn around to see your kitchen on fire. Instead of scheduled moving trucks you have first responders running to your home to put out the fire. That night you and your family are sleeping in a motel or neighbor’s basement. You have nothing but the clothes on your back.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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What Does Post-Disaster Housing Look Like?

Whenever I mention my desire to build post-disaster housing, I get a funny look as most people say, “you mean like the FEMA trailers?” Images like this one were far too common after Katrina and have been burned into our memories by the media. So first off, let’s dispel that myth.

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Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Behind the Scenes of a Disaster

‘Tis the season to be indoors and cozy on the couch with a good movie, and I have just the one that will change your world… or at least change your perspective on disasters. Ever wonder what post-Katrina life was like for people in New Orleans? Want a glimpse into the life of an insurance claims adjuster?

Low and Behold

Image Credit: http://www.lowandbeholdmovie.com/

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Christmas Vacation: Don’t Let it Happen to You!

We have likely all seen the movie Christmas Vacation, can likely quote the memorable parts, and cringe when Cousin Eddie empties the trailer septic tank into the storm sewer. But watching Uncle Lewis ignite the Christmas tree is absolutely the highlight. But that could never happen, right? Or could it?

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Scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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Texas Floods: On the Ground, Part 2

When a disaster is large enough to receive attention from national media, it usually means people come out of the woodwork to help. This was the case for the Texas floods as well. State and local governments, emergency management departments, FEMA, Red Cross, and a plethora of other organizations came out in droves to offer resources and financial assistance that made a tremendous impact to many Texans who were affected. But is that enough?

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A home on the Blanco River in Wimberely, TX. Photo credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesmen/AP

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