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Bright Future Foundation Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary

Bright Future Foundation celebrates 40-year anniversary

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. 2024 marks a significant milestone for Bright Future Foundation (BFF), the valley’s leading advocate for domestic violence prevention and care, as the organization celebrates its 40th year of service in Eagle County.

Over the past four decades, BFF’s trained volunteers have answered more than 10,000 calls to the crisis line. In 2023, more than 900 calls came in. The organization, originally known as the Women’s Resource Center, has evolved with the changing times and now serves as a model of excellence in communities around the country.

In 2002, the organization created the Freedom Ranch safe house in Gypsum. That facility provided a welcoming place for those who often got out of their homes with little more than the clothing on their backs. The location was supposed to be confidential, however security was always a challenge, so BFF set out to reimagine and modernize its shelter to operate in a world where information is more readily available than ever.

The BrightHouse in Gypsum, which opened in 2021, now takes survivors out of hiding. Rather than relying on secrecy, the new facility includes a state-of-the-art security system backed by a supportive community and staff to ensure survivors remain safe.

The award-winning $3.5 million facility includes common areas intended to engender community interaction, a children’s playground, a garden, and offices for counseling and legal services. By building the structure from the ground up, the BrightHouse is more purpose built, which better fulfills the needs of residents, staff, and the organization as a whole.

When it’s time for survivors to transition out of the BrightHouse, the Ensuring Freedom Housing Program makes sure families are best positioned to thrive in a home that is safe and permanent. The primary focus of Ensuring Freedom is housing stabilization — to find or maintain safe and affordable housing for survivors. To date, the program has provided $650,000 in assistance to over 250 survivors.

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking often grapple with a multitude of needs, from urgent safety concerns to psychological distress and financial consequences of abuse. Bright Future Foundation’s staff attorney guides survivors through the complexities of the civil and criminal justice system, primarily focusing on issues of safety. In 2023, BFF’s staff attorney consulted 160 survivors, supporting 41 in obtaining civil restraining orders.

In 2021, Bright Future Foundation partnered with Vail Health and Colorado Mountain Medical to establish Eagle County’s first and only Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)/Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) program, known as Victims First Care. The program’s goal is to provide prompt medical care and emotional support to assault victims in Eagle County on a 24/7 basis.

Prevention, not just care, also continues to be a priority for BFF. Among its initiatives is the Buddy Mentor program. Modeled after the nationally recognized Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Buddy Mentors is dedicated to nurturing and inspiring youth through the development of consistent and trustworthy relationships. This program provides high-quality, evidence-based mentorship opportunities to at-risk youth in Eagle County. Through mentoring, young participants forge a sense of belonging, security, and self-empowerment.

In surpassing the 40-year milestone, Bright Future Foundation, with public support, will continue to stand against domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. The organization continues to provide a safe and supportive pathway to normalcy for survivors in Eagle County.

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