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 as 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.