our work

Helping families remain living and working in Summit County

FIRC empowers families with the education and support needed to thrive and remain living and working in Summit County. In most communities, FIRC would be 5 separate nonprofits. Fortunately for Summit County families, we are a comprehensive one-stop agency.

All services are designed to strengthen families, resulting in stronger parents, children, employees and community.

The Family and Intercultural Resource Center has been serving Summit County, Colorado, since 1993 in the ways of parenting education, emergency assistance and community support, a food bank, cultural integration and an affordable thrift store. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to build strong families and a strong community by providing people with the tools and education to be successful parents and community members.

Why families are leaving Summit County

All programs work to help families thrive

When parents are able to overcome hard times they can focus on caring for their children. When children feel supported, they are more successful. When families are strong they can contribute to the success of our community.

  • Ability to provide basic needs and obtain financial independence
  • Access to healthcare and mental health services
  • Social networks and friends
  • Strong parenting skills and the ability to spend quality time with family
  • Feel a sense of community
  • Ability to set and achieve goals

It’s nearly impossible for people to earn what it takes to live in Summit County. Many people have to pay 40-60% of their income towards housing, which leaves little for the other basic needs. When parents are facing financial stress, children usually feel the results. This is why FIRC works with families to set long-term goals, obtain year-round jobs and adjust budgets to avoid future financial crisis.

The following are the impacts our programs have on families and the efforts of helping them achieve stability.

Investing in the future

For every DOLLAR spent on EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION —$17 is saved in future truancy expenses, social services programs and prison costs.

As the person ages, it requires more money to make a change that will ultimately have less of an impact.

Knowledge of parenting and child development:

Parents who have some knowledge of basic child development are likely to have more realistic expectations of their children. With that knowledge, parents are better able to provide the right amount of nurturing, supervision, and guidance. When parents understand their roles in their children’s lives and learn about specific parenting techniques and strategies, they can form positive relationships with their children and have options for appropriate responses to typical child behaviors.

Parental Resilience:

Resilient parents are stronger parents. In times of stress or crisis, their children are less likely to be abused or neglected. When parents are depressed, or too consumed by their own problems, they often have difficulty providing for their children’s needs. Resilient parents, however, have more patience with their children, especially in times of stress.

  • 3,500 clients last year were helped one or more of FIRC’s services. All programs have the goal of building parental resilience, which results in stronger families.

Impacts of Parenting Workshops

  • Parent education and engagement
  • Building relationships with children
  • Positive discipline
  • Improving communication
  • Parents and children learning together to create a healthy future
  • Foundation of a healthy family is to live and learn together
  • Providing to tools to build healthy behaviors

Breaking the Cycle
FIRC provides the tools for families to break the cycle of risk factors that can lead to child abuse or neglect, developmental delays and financial instability.

Importance of providing concrete support in times of crisis:

Concrete Support in times of need helps avert the following negative outcomes by ensuring that the basic needs of families and children are met.

Impacts of homelessness and housing instability

  • Compared to poor, housed children, homeless children have worse physical and mental health, more developmental delays, more behavioral issues, poorer school attendance and performance, and other negative conditions
  • Even housing instability (not necessarily homelessness) negatively impacts children. Moving three or more times is associated with increased behavioral, emotional, and school-related problems
  • 268 families received housing assistance last year to avoid eviction
  • 34 households received foreclosure prevention counseling last year to help families stay in their home

Impacts of food insecurity

  • Children growing up in food-insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life
  • Studies have found that food insecurity has been associated with health problems for children that may hinder their ability to function normally and participate fully in school and other activities.
  • Children who experience food insecurity may be at higher risk for behavioral issues and social difficulties.
  • 3,839 people used the FIRC food bank last year. While guidelines permit households to visit the food bank once per month, 79% of households visited the food bank 1-3 times during the year.