Hard Times, Soft Hearts: The Third Way Center

   Back in 2011, Ireland’s Finest started its “Hard times, Soft Hearts” contest. Each year since, people from the Denver community have nominated worthy candidates to have their property painted by Ireland’s Finest for free. Candidates are individuals and organizations that help the community, usually by providing services and kindness for the most vulnerable of our neighbors here in Denver. Ireland’s Finest partners with Benjamin Moore for paint supplies and Weaver Construction for small carpentry repairs.

That first year, the community support for the inaugural winner, Jerusalem Baptist Church, was overwhelming. The church was rewarded for its service to the community with a brand-new paint job for their building.

This year, it started with a simple email, the kind that Ireland’s Finest receives all the time. Heidi Coughlan, the Director of Operations for the Third Way Center, a Denver organization dedicated to helping at-risk adolescents and their families with continuing services and safe spaces, called Ireland’s Finest for an estimate for a new paint job. After some research, Ireland’s Finest contacted Heidi and told them they were a great candidate for the “Hard Times, Soft Hearts” contest.

The Third Way Center started as a single shelter for troubled teens in Denver. It all started with Hildegard Messenbaugh, MD, a celebrated psychiatrist in Denver in 1970. Community members, concerned about the rising numbers of adolescents they saw on the streets, contacted her to see how they could help them. Many of these individuals were on the street to escape traumatic and uncertain family situations, or a wide array of other reasons. Most of these troubled youths faced an impossible choice: live on the streets with no shelter or protection, or face incarceration. Dr. Messenbaugh and her community resolved to provide these teens a third way.

The Third Way Center grew from one shelter into a continuum of complete services for teens, empowering them and giving them a clear path to healing and improving their lives. Since then, the Third Way Center has helped thousands of teens and their families, giving them the tools and ability to transform their lives.

Every individual who comes to the Third Way Center for help gets individualized and honest assessments of their situations, then its staffers provide them with the tools of recovery and moving on and into new and more favorable situations. This help comes in the form of individual, group, and family therapy, education, job training, parenting skills training, after-care and emancipation programs, and more. Teens can receive round-the-clock mental health care and treatment at the Third Way Center’s facilities from a team of 120 full-time staff members, including Master Level Therapists and Mental Health Counselors.

Ireland’s Finest is proud to help the Third Way Center look and feel even more welcoming and up-to-date than ever. Ireland’s Finest is committed to working within the Denver community to help customers and worthy organizations do what they do. To nominate an individual or organization in your neighborhood, go to the “Hard Times, Soft Hearts” webpageon the Ireland’s Finest website.

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