Person-to-person contact
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Volunteer mentors help families in need

PERSON-TO-PERSON CONTACT: Dave Scott gets a warm greeting from 7-year-old Angel on a visit to the Maestas’ Denver home as her sister, Corie, 9, looks on. Joe and Christina Maestas, the girls’ parents, were initially warier of Scott and his fellow mentor, Mark Zahringer, who said they could help lead the family out of homelessness. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
NEW OUTLOOK: Mark Zahringer, left, and Dave Scott visit the Maestases. “Maybe we’re the ones that got it wrong,” Zahringer says of the family’s values. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
MOVING UP: The family’s mentors gave Domonic Maestas, 13, a football. The boys were excited that their new home was near the Denver Broncos’ stadium. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
A FAMILY THAT WORKS: Angel Maestas rides her bike as her brothers, Joey and Domonic, fix another bike in the family’s new backyard. “You could line up your kids against mine, and yours would be better-behaved,” Dave Scott told their mother, Christina Maestas. She credited her husband, Joe, their primary caregiver. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
The Maestas family lived in this motel outside Denver until it was scheduled for demolition and closed. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
Domonic Maestas, 13, holds Snow, the family kitten, as his sister, Angel, 7, plays with her new doll, a gift from the Maestas’ mentors. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
Mark Zahringer talks with Christina Maestas about financial budgeting in the kitchen of the Maestas’ house. Zahringer became one of the family’s mentors through his membership at Southeast Christian Church in Parker, Colorado. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)
Corie eats a slice of pizza as Angel plays on a chair in the family’s living room. (Carmel Zucker / LAT)
The Maestas family lived in shelters and motels for years until a mentoring program run by the city of Denver and local churches helped them to move into this house. (Carmel Zucker / For the Times)