ULC’s Monthly Partner Spotlight shines a light on partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering our mission to improve the lives of Metro Denver residents and beyond through our real estate investments and community assets.
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountain (LFSRM), a 501(c)3 dedicated to providing services for vulnerable populations to provide strength, hope, and enable healing, is a ULC partner and tenant. They believe that all people, from the newborn infant to the most elderly person, deserve to be valued in our community, and are committed to giving love and support to the people they serve, regardless of race, religion, gender, or age, to help equip them to live full and whole lives.
Founded in 1948 to provide adoptive placement for babies, LFSRM began to realize their services should encompass a broad range of areas. LFSRM expanded to include birth parent counseling, foster care, aging services, international adoptions, services to refugees, aid following disasters, and parent education. Since 2000, they have added an African American Caregiver Support Program, an infant adoption awareness training program for healthcare providers, foster care services for unaccompanied refugee minors, an employment training center for refugees, and basic legal immigration services. In 2012, LFSRM assumed operations of a SafeTouch Body Safety program, family visitation facility, and parenting education classes in Weld County, and opened a refugee services office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, LFSRM is now one of the largest private foster care providers in the state and the largest refugee resettlement agency in the Rocky Mountain region.
LFSRM responds to the social and emotional needs of over 30,000 people annually including unintended pregnancy, family violence, child abuse and neglect, the impact of man-made and natural disasters, older adult isolation, and the plight of refugees and documented immigrants. Now, more than ever, the services provided by Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains are crucial to the communities they serve.
With their experience in disaster response, the State of Colorado approached LFSRM at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to help create productive responses and plans to address the needs of many of the communities LFSRM serves. Not only has LFSRM worked with the State of Colorado, but they have also been able to completely change their internal strategies to continue helping their clients. LFSRM has shifted to 100% remote operations. That has not stifled the level of service they are able to offer their clients, however. Foster care providers are now able to connect to case managers and other volunteers via teleconferencing.
Dona Dalton, Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains’ Marketing and Communications Director says that the current challenges brought on by the global pandemic have only pushed LFSRM staff and volunteers to strive harder. “Our staff always goes above and beyond, but even more so now to ensure our clients have the resources they need to get through this challenging time,” Dalton says. She adds, “Our volunteers have also stepped up. Every Thursday, a group of volunteers delivers food to over 75 older adults so they do not have to leave their homes. This effort is especially important.”
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains has several offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their Refugee program headquarters are located at ULC’s Mountain View Nonprofit Tower, and their Aging Solutions, Foster Care and, Adoption, and Pregnancy Counseling programs are located at ULC’s Harlan Nonprofit Center.
Dalton says, “We’re grateful to have offices where clients can feel safe entering our facilities.” Jamie Blanchard, LFSRM’s Community Programs Manager adds, “We appreciate the mural at Downing and the willingness to support all people. It is easy just to be an office building but much more meaningful to support the communities that live here.”