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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sister Mary Alice Murphy Receives Local Soroptimist Ruby Award

Sister Mary Alice Murphy received the local Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women, during the annual Soroptimist International of Fort Collins Living Her Dream awards ceremony, February 15th at the Hilton Hotel. The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women or girls. Their work has had a significant impact, and also inspires and encourages other women.

Sister Mary Alice personifies the Soroptimist Ruby Award. She is not satisfied to merely raise awareness about the needs of girls and women, she does something about it; she delivers. She truly is an inspiration. Highlights from her nomination, submitted by Anita J. Hildebrand, include the following.

1989--While Sister Mary Alice was the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Northern, The Mission, was opened. The Mission is a night shelter for homeless with separate facilities for the increasing number of women and families who seek shelter there.

1992--Sister Mary Alice founded CARE Housing, a non-profit organization, providing affordable rental housing and supporting services to working families. Approximately 85% of the residents are single women with children.

2002--Sister Mary Alice saw the need to help working families make it through the month and she, along collaborated to form the Homelessness Prevention Initiative (HPI), a non-profit which provides emergency rental assistance to renters who need help to stay in their homes. Many of HPI’s clients are single women with children.

2010--The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope (Center for Hope) opened. “It is a place for people who are ready to make life changes to overcome their current situation, and who need some help doing so. The mission of the Center for Hope is to help these families and individuals achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency.” Sister Mary Alice worked tirelessly for “this resource center for families and individuals who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.”

2011--Sister Mary Alice is a consultant for the United Way for services to the homeless. Her focus is helping people obtain services and benefits to which they are legally entitled. The paperwork required to obtain benefits can be formidable to a woman who has no place to store documentation or a woman who has never had to seek help before. Sister Mary Alice is an eloquent and compassionate voice.

Sister Mary Alice’s name has been submitted to Soroptimist International, Rocky Mountain Region. If selected at region, she will go on to the federation level. The winner of the federation-level Ruby Award will receive a $5,000 donation to the charitable organization of her choice.