Breckenridge Office & Food Pantry is Open
As the needs of Summit County and Breckenridge continue to change, it has become more difficult to raise a family or keep a stable workforce in this community. In efforts to improve services for families and individuals, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) is opening an office on Airport Road in Breckenridge.
“I can’t overstate how essential FIRC’s services are to this community,” Summit County Commissioner and FIRC board member Thomas Davidson said. “By adding a location in Breckenridge, those services are going to be far more accessible to those living and working in the southern portion of Summit County, and FIRC staff will be able to deliver them more efficiently.”
The housing crisis and increasing cost of living in Summit County is making it even more difficult to raise a family. People are paying 30-60 percent of their income on housing, which leaves very little for food, childcare, medical expenses and other necessities. There is only so much financial and emotional stress families can take before they have to make the difficult choice of leaving their home.
“I think it’s important to remember that working class families all over the County, including Breckenridge, struggle to make ends meet and that’s why FIRC’s programs are so important,” said FIRC Executive Director, Tamara Drangstveit.
FIRC’s motto is “Strong families, strong community”. Each year over 3,500 locals use FIRC’s education and support services, which include parenting classes, food bank, cooking classes and home visits for young children.
“We are successfully working with families to set long-term goals and find ways to achieve stability,” said Drangstveit. “We are giving parents the skills needed to handle stress and improve communication with their children. We are working together with community leaders and other service providers to address the support gaps and areas in need of change.”
Since opening the FIRC office in Silverthorne in 2012, FIRC has been able to add programs and improve the quality of their services for the community. Having the proper location and a well-developed space has allowed staff to be more effective and efficient. The significant increase in Breckenridge residents accessing FIRC’s programs shows the need for a second FIRC Office on the south side of the County. Over 700 residents from Breckenridge accessed FIRC’s community support, parenting education or healthy living programs last year and FIRC believes more people could use our assistance if it were more accessible.
“FIRC is focused on ensuring our programs have a true impact on families and in our community,” Drangstveit said. “Improving the access of our programs to Breckenridge residents will only strengthen our ability to help families across the County succeed.”
The future plans for workforce housing in Breckenridge will be key to keeping this community local, but will also require more services. This is why the opportunity for purchasing Summit County government’s former District Attorney building on Airport Road is such a perfect fit for FIRC. By purchasing this office now, FIRC will be established and a true resource for Breckenridge residents as the number of workforce housing units grows over the next several years.
“The Town of Breckenridge has been a long-time supporter of FIRC so they can provide the myriad of well-needed services,” remarked Breckenridge Mayor John Warner. “We whole heartedly welcome their expansion into our community and wanted to provide financial support to make this a reality so they can focus on their services rather than fund-raising for the purchase of this office.”
Summit County has agreed to sell the facility to FIRC for $475,000, a favorable price that takes into account the many community services and programs the organization provides. A $100,000 down payment was raised thanks to the Town of Breckenridge, Breckenridge Grand Vacations and private donors. Summit County is providing financing for the remaining balance, which FIRC will pay back to the County over a period of 30 years.
“We’re so excited about this opportunity to serve the growing population in Breckenridge that could benefit from our services,” said Don Dankner, a Breckenridge resident and FIRC Board President. “In addition I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this purchase possible.”
FIRC has signed a contract on the building and the closing date is set for February 29.
“We are planning to have services up and running by March,” said Drangstveit. “The new building will offer a food bank, appointments with family support managers, health navigators and parenting and cooking classes.”
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Please call to make an appointment for the following services:
- Support for working families
- Parenting education, classes and support
- Health insurance enrollment assistance
- Cooking, nutrition & life skills classes
- Connection to other resources
- Walk-In Food Pantry & Thrift Store Voucher Hours
- Mondays & Wednesdays
- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.