FIRC works to strengthen families through education and financial resources. We believe strong sustainable families are the key to a strong and healthy community.
Mission: FIRC promotes stable families.
Vision: Envisioning a caring and thriving community.
- FIRC believes that with the proper tools, people can succeed as individuals, parents and community members
- FIRC believes that strong families are the framework for strong communities
- FIRC believes diversity makes for a richer community
- FIRC believes that parents are the first and most important teacher to their children
Executive Director Statement
As I reach my six-year mark at FIRC, what I am most impressed with, is our Summit County community and how everyone pulls together for the greater good. I am amazed at the ways partner organizations have come together to support families – from affordable housing efforts to providing low-income families with childcare scholarships. 80 percent of families have both parents in the workforce, one of the highest rates in the country, and without childcare assistance, many parents would not be able to afford to live here. Affordable housing is equally important, as it allows people employed in Summit County the ability to also reside here, and become invested in their community.
At FIRC we are continually working alongside community members and organizations to identify and fill the service gaps. By recognizing where families are struggling, we are able to provide them with the tools they need to be successful. None of our work would be possible without the generous contributions from the community and our volunteers. As Summit County’s population continues to grow, so does the need for FIRC’s services. We are so grateful that the community sees the value in providing the support necessary to assist people through crisis situations. Fortunately, Summit County agrees that it takes an entire community to raise a child and with your support, we will be able to continue to grow and change to meet the needs of the clients we serve.
The Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC), originally named the Summit County Family Resource Center (FRC), started serving Summit County, Colorado, in 1993 out of community necessity for more localized assistance. At the time, childcare and parent effectiveness were identified as major challenges facing Colorado residents. As a result, the State provided partial funding for “Family Centers” with missions to address these and related issues; the funds provided helped kick-start the FRC.In 1995, the FRC opened the Summit Thrift & Treasure store, the only nonprofit thrift store in the county. The thrift store opened in order to provide affordable clothing to Summit County residents and strengthen FRC’s financial stability.
In January of 2000, the Census revealed a 700% increase in the immigrant population in Summit County. This new information showed an important and urgent need for education and awareness to help the community adapt to the changes in the community’s population. Summit County Government began a six-month planning process to address these new needs; 28 community members met monthly to strategize and plan the development of a diversity center. It became obvious to the planning team that the FRC shared many of the same goals and objectives of the diversity planning team. As a result, FRC board members and the diversity planning team worked together to recreate the goals and mission for the newly named Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC).
In 2003, FIRC moved to new offices in Dillon, Colorado, to share a location with Court Appointed Special Advocates, Early Childhood Options and Summit County Head Start, encouraging collaboration with these agencies. Since then, FIRC has improved and broadened family services, expanded food bank space and thrift store retail space, and continued to strengthen its staff to effectively meet the needs of Summit County. In 2008, after a community health assessment and community health strategic plan were completed, FIRC was asked to address the problem of “access to health”. In addition, research based parenting classes have also been identified as lacking in Summit County by the Parenting Education and Strategic Planning group made up of various agencies whose mission is to safeguard children. As a result, FIRC is now dedicated to identifying community partners in an effort to address the numerous uninsured and underinsured residents in Summit County as well as providing curriculum based parenting classes to all Summit County residents.
In 2014, FIRC moved into purchased office space in Silverthorne. The new space provides classroom and childcare space, a teaching kitchen, food bank and offices for 25 staff. The new office allows FIRC to offer many more classes for the community and support for the programs. FIRC continues to be a community leader in the area of cultural integration, resource and referral services, emergency services, family support and early childhood development.