COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Pikes Peak United Way (PPUW), in partnership with Harrison School District 2, has announced plans to open a family success center in southeast Colorado Springs.
The center will be housed at what is now Pikes Peak Elementary, which will complete its final year as an elementary school in June of 2022. The center will welcome individuals and families beginning in August of 2022.
“The Family Success Center will be a place of hope, inspiration, exploration and community building,” said Cindy Aubrey President and CEO of Pikes Peak United Way. “We are excited to bring residents together to learn what will make the center effective and life-changing.”
“Harrison School District Two was fortunate to partner with Pikes Peak United Way during the pandemic to assist our families with various challenges, and the partnership has only grown,” said Dr. Wendy Birhanzel, HSD2 Superintendent. “This is a wonderful way to use our building in the future, while serving our families and community members in Southeast Colorado Springs.”
According to PPUW, the organization has been working with the community to develop what residents need and want in this center. Services identified include GED classes, employment counseling/career opportunity exploration, a STEM lab, art therapy, a literacy center, financial literacy training, nutrition counseling, mentoring and tutoring.
The center will also serve as a meeting place for residents in the neighborhood. In addition, plans are underway for a monthly family dinner and more.
“It’s no secret that access to care and services in Southeast Colorado Springs has lagged behind the rest of our city, and we appreciate Pikes Peak United Way stepping up to operate a center like this in our community and especially in our building,” said Corey Williams, Board of Education President. “This will be a big win for all community members who can access valuable services close to home that can open doors for themselves and their family.”
The center is a collaborative effort with partners such as the City of Colorado Springs, Ent Credit Union, Solid Rock Community Development Corporation, El Paso County, El Paso County Public Health, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, Goodwill, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, First Tee of the Pikes Peak Region, The National Cyber Security Center, Tessa, Big Brothers Big Sisters and CPCD giving children a head start.
Funding for the center includes:
City of Colorado Springs $1.5 million
Ent Credit Union $100,000
Colorado Springs Health Foundation $90,000
Weidner Apartment Homes $50,000
Mari Wiseman Deminski $20,000
Larry H. Miller Charities $10,000
According to PPUW, Senator Michael Bennet has secured $250,000 in a Senate Appropriations Bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the bills by the end of the year either individually or as a combined package.
Anyone in interested in more information about the Family Success Center should reach out to Abby Kappel. Any media interested in learning more about repurposing Pikes Peak Elementary should reach out to Christine O’Brien.