By Karen Morfitt

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Students at the University of Colorado College of Nursing are putting a new focus on the community.

For many, that starts in an old gym that now houses the Aurora Day Resource Center.

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“I was homeless and the friend I had come to know while on the streets told me about this place,” Nathanial Reed said about his own experience.

On Friday afternoon, Reed was looking for help finding a place to live and Jessica Perry was there to help.

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“This housing form is a VI-SPDAT and it helps us get you prioritized,” Perry said.

Perry isn’t an expert in housing, she’s a student at the CU College of Nursing.

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“Nursing is not just about the medicine and that’s where a lot of this has been going right now,” she said.

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It is a semester-long clinical that puts nursing students into the community.

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Perry says her work at the resource center has given her a new perspective on what will eventually be her career.

“They wanted you to get away from looking at just that and start focusing on the goals and the needs of the people in front of you,” she said.

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“It’s really helped me more than they know,” Reed said.

Perry says she thought the work would be a building block for her future, but instead, she says it may actually be the foundation.

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“I feel like everybody should be doing something like this it’s just part of being culturally competent and understanding what the needs are for this community.”

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Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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