GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Every night between April 20th and 24th KJCT will feature a Red Cross Hero in our Community. Monday's Hero is Officer Cindy Cohn.
"She just steps above and beyond any sort of protocol, you know. It's like if her heart can be in it, she's in it, you know?"
That's the genuine feeling shared by many about Officer Cindy Cohn. As an ambassador to the Grand Valley's less fortunate, Cindy is a beacon of light.
"Some people have gotten back home to families that were having a hard time getting back to their families. The HOT team has been able to help them do that," says soup kitchen director Angela Walsh.
The HOT team - or homeless outreach program - was established in 2010 as a way for Grand Junction police to connect with individuals and provide them with resources like substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling, but for Officer Cohn it's much more personal.
"The coolest thing about my job is that i get to know these individuals on a personal basis," says Officer Cohn. "It's not just somebody standing on a street corner - it's not just someone coming to the soup kitchen. I get to truly know them as individuals."
Over the years cindy has developed an exceptional level of trust and connections with the homeless population.
"Everything that we do is completely based off of relationships," says Officer Cohn. "You can't do anything unless you have a relationship with that person. That's where trust and rapport are developed."
That trust has helped several individuals, transforming them into productive citizens and contributing to our community.
"It's been very successful, I hear," says Officer Cohn. "There's been a lot of people that the HOT team has been able to reach and get to help, rather than incarcerating them and that's a good idea. If we can rehab instead of incarcerate."
Officer Cohn's dedication both on and off the job to reach those that need some extra support, is a shining example of a true hero.
"I feel like this is what i was meant to do."
The Red Cross will honor these Heroes of Western Colorado at their 9th annual banquet and dinner Friday, April 24th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Double Tree Hotel.