(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Monday evening was the soft launch of WHealthy, which serves as a community activation space in downtown Colorado Springs. The nonprofit CommunityWorks opened this new space which helps formerly incarcerated people and impoverished people in Southern Colorado.

“So what we’re trying to do is create a center, a resource hub for all of our participants who are either impoverished, underserved, or justice impacted to come get back on their feet and be able to go out and be, you know, community contributors, as we like to call them here at the Whealthy store,” said Randi Fritsch, WHealthy Community Investment Broker.

The name of the business incorporates the mission of focusing on health and wellness while also guiding people to successful future careers.

“The WHealthy concept came from us coming up with the play on words,” Senior Vice President of CommunityWorks, Juaquin Mobley, said. “Wealth is health. Health is wealth. And what we were trying to really establish is how really your health determines your wealth, your net worth.”

Wealth is Health sign is lit up inside. Courtesy: Andrea Vazquez.

In choosing the space, Mobley stated the center will help bring together and connect people from all over Southern Colorado.

“So we wanted to be the nexus between people that live in the Southeast community as well as the individuals that live in the Broadmoor or up north in Rockrimmon and just having this central like local area that everybody can come and have fellowship,” said Mobley.

The space offers a juice bar in the front of the building, a retail shop and in the back of the space is a gym. Along with using the equipment, a program will be offered to help those interested in going into a fitness career.

“So we have a few participants that want to go down that route and so this is perfect training for them, perfect practice for them, and then they can go ahead and get that experience and take care of that, stay with us, or go off into the real world,” Fritsch said.

Specifically, Mobley shared the focus of the program will be on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) training and heavy weight training.

“So there’s a lot of individuals that are incarcerated who want to train and become trainers,” Mobley said. “So we gave them the platform to do it so they can develop their skill set here.”

The fitness center is in the back of the building. Courtesy: Andrea Vazquez.

There is the option to purchase a gym membership which will go towards supporting the center.

Marissa Jaramillo, who was recently incarcerated, is now the lead barista of the café in the front of the building. A big smile appeared on her face when she shared what it meant to be able to have this job and be a part of the WHealthy community.

“I mean it’s everything,” Jaramillo said. “I was really scared when I was going to get out, you know, not knowing what I was going to do, being you know, a felon and everything like that. But this CommunityWorks has been nothing but a blessing.”

Jaramillo prepared food in the cafe on Monday afternoon. Courtesy: Maggy Wolanske

The new center serves as an encouraging community hoping to help people on their health and wellness journey as well as land future jobs.

“Like I said, it’s a community activating space, so we want people to come in,” Fritsch said. “And what that activation means is either find something you like, find a talent that you’re interested in and really just activate the potential inside of you.”

WHealthy is located in Downtown Colorado Springs at 121 East Bijou Street and will have a grand opening planned for the end of April.