CONNECT Partner: The REAL Community Project

CONNECT is partnering with Youth Connections on a new Helena-based project designed to give local faith leaders access to our electronic referral system and get more people connected to necessary services.

The REAL Community Project, or simply REAL, (Referrals, Education, Action, Love) is an initiative to engage faith communities in the Helena area to prevent substance abuse and make the Helena area safer and healthier for kids and families. This will be accomplished through referrals for services, an educational conference providing resources to faith leaders, and a volunteer fair to inform the public about opportunities where they can provide service to the community.

Faith leaders are often trusted and respected by those in their community. They tend to be one of the first places people turn in times of need. By equipping these faith leaders with knowledge about the issues surrounding drugs and alcohol in the community and tangible ways to help prevent substance abuse, Helena can become a safer place for everyone.

To learn more about REAL, visit their website or email Rachel Dober at Rachel@youthconnectionscoalition.org.

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agency

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) is now a user of CONNECT!  The agency is set up and able to accept referrals.

Curious about MLSA?  Here’s what you need to know:

Montana Legal Services Association is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that empowers low income people by providing legal information, advice, and other services free of charge. MLSA works to help people escape abuse and domestic violence, keep their housing, preserve their public benefits, protect their finances, and more.

Contact Melissa Magnuson with questions about MLSA by email or at 406-442-9830.

Visit mtlsa.org to learn more!

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agencies

Please join me in welcoming Bridges and Helena Area Habitat for Humanity to the L&C County CONNECT Referral System!

Bridges is an enrichment and educational program of Helena Community Connections, Inc., that engages community organizations in offering presentations and workshops that explore challenges and opportunities associated with the aging process.  The target audience is “next generation of dependent adults” who seek to make decisions now that result in optimal independence, health and purpose as they experience the aging process.  Some programs offering meals invite $5 donation to match AARP catered meal grants.

Current Programs:

Bridges Buffet – a monthly noontime catered lunch program that engages participants with a variety of speakers who explore challenges and opportunities in eight wellness areas including physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, social, occupational (how we spend our time), environmental (connections to community), and intellectual.

CareMpower – a monthly volunteer caregivers catered meal program that promotes socialization among volunteer caregivers and engages subject matter experts who promote caregivers self-care, specialized caregiver skills as well as inspire and encourage those who offer care to others.

Cranium Café – a monthly noontime brain health workshop led by Nanette Holmes, Life Enrichment Director – Touchmark, that engages participants in learning and practicing brain health exercises, learning how the brain changes over time how to keep it healthy, and discussion.

My Destiny –  a quarterly financial  and estate planning workshop led by Marsha Goetting PhD of Montana State University Extension Services who engages participants in a fun and educational exploration of the importance of financial and estate planning and tips for getting started.

Gentle Ways – a weekly morning workshop that engages participants of all ages and abilities in gentle strengthening, balancing and flexibility exercises led by experienced practitioners.

Big Sky Caregivers Connect – a monthly noontime volunteer caregivers support group conducted at Touchmark by trained and experienced facilitators that offers opportunities for volunteer caregivers to share their experiences, learn from others, and find support and information to enhance their lives and those receiving their care.

Contact Rick Hulbert with questions about Bridges via email or at 431-7085. Visit bridgeshcc.org to learn more!


Helena Area Habitat for Humanity serves individuals and families who earn between 30 and 80% AMI (area median income). We are currently offering two programs: the Homeownership Program and the Critical Home Repair Program. We are looking for clients who are interested in working with us to build their own home. Eligibility for this program is based on income and credit history. We are happy to provide financial coaching to families who are serious about becoming homeowners.

Our Critical Home Repair program is geared towards current homeowners who need assistance with a repair, for example, a leaking roof, plumbing or electrical issues, and other issues that may compromise the structure and safety of the home. Habitat asses each client on the following: need, willingness to partner, and ability to pay. We provide these homeowners with an interest free loan to perform the repair and the necessary technical assistance. Through donors, sponsors and volunteers, we are able to subsidize each project to meet our client’s income.

Contact Sophia Webb with questions via email or at 406-449-4663, ext. 102.  Visit www.helenahabitat.org to learn more!


Interested in learning more about CONNECT?  Contact Megan Grotzke (mgrotzke@lccountymt.gov) at 406-547-8979.