Four Questions for Edwina M. Salazar, MSW
By Lisa Truesdale
YEARS IN LONGMONT: 23
FAMILY: Daughter Natalie Salazar Waldrip, an aspiring actor in L.A.
OCCUPATION: Executive Director of the Outreach United Resource Center (OUR Center) for 16 years
Q: Why did you move to Longmont, and what do you like most about it?
A: I am a Colorado native. I was born in Denver and lived in Thornton until college. I am a graduate of CSU and DU. After spending more than 20 years in Wyoming, I happily settled in Longmont, where I have family, and there is no other place I would like to live. Longmont is unpretentious and easygoing, and there’s a strong community spirit that values problem solving. It has vibrant character but a hometown feel. I live near downtown so I enjoy the food, music and art there and appreciate the walkability. I also like living in a culturally diverse neighborhood.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: We help people move toward self-sufficiency by unifying community resources, and I am so fulfilled by helping people change their lives for the better. The teamwork of our board, staff, donors and volunteers has made it possible for the OUR Center to survive during difficult economic times while also helping people in need survive. Our new building, expanded self-sufficiency programming and community support will help the OUR Center thrive in the future to continue meeting the needs of people at risk.
Q: The capital campaign for your new facility has been quite a big project over the past few years. Can you tell us more about it?
A: The “Strengthen Our Community—Invest in OUR Story” $4.7-million capital campaign is so we can transform the former lumber store across the street (220 Collyer) into a larger facility with features that our current three small buildings and clothing bank don’t have. The new building will house our intake center, clothing bank, hospitality center, volunteer center, administrative offices, Critical Needs Center (for the homeless), and much more. Our vision is that this new facility will meet the projected needs of the community for the next 25 years. We are 80 percent of the way to raising the funds needed to complete construction, and we hope to have a grand opening in August. The project is a true fulfillment of the OUR Center’s mission, and I am proud to be part of the team that will see this project to fruition.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: Music, art and yoga are my favorite pastimes. Reading is my stress management and world travel is my adventure!