Strong Families, Safe Kids expands hours at new site under new name
For most of its 11 years, Strong Families, Safe Kids operated on bankers’ hours.
Because it was in the basement of US Bank in downtown Grand Junction, the doors to the nonprofit organization, which offers parenting classes and works to prevent child abuse, were locked at 5 p.m. daily and all weekend.
But, as any mother and father can attest, there is no time off from protecting, teaching, disciplining and loving children. So, earlier this year, the group purchased and moved into a new home at 1505 Chipeta Ave., which offers more space, a more welcoming environment, evening and weekend availability and the room to expand its programs.
And with the move came a new name: The Parenting Place.
“We decided that The Parenting Place was a better fit for what we are doing,” Executive Director Bobbi Kline said. “We want to provide a safe environment for parents to come to find resources and parenting tools and to build a community of confident parents and healthy families.”
The Parenting Place purchased the building for $164,000, using a down payment to pay half the price. It received a grant from the Gates Family Foundation to cover half of the balance and is conducting a capital fundraising campaign to raise the $30,000 needed to pay off the building. It hopes to raise the money by early fall.
The new building boasts 3,100 square feet, triple the amount available in the bank’s basement. The lack of space forced the group to conduct some classes in a staff member’s home.
The emergence from the basement into a building with windows has boosted staff and volunteer morale and enabled The Parenting Place to become more visible to the public, Kline said. The move to a larger facility should enable the nonprofit to enhance its programming. It hopes to offer a support group for grandparents who are raising children and serve as a drop-in center for parents of newborns and toddlers who can connect with other parents.
Other agencies are taking advantage of the additional space, including those that offer prenatal care and baby sign language classes, Kline said.
The Parenting Place helped 1,200 local families last year and expects that number to grow by 10 to 15 percent this year, she said.