Every Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., LEAF takes over the little white church on Main Street and offers lots of different services to residents who live in the greater Lyons area. LEAF has a big service area: it serves folks from Raymond/Riverside, and Pinewood Springs, all the way into Lyons on either side of both highways, whether they live off the grid, up Red Gulch, or on Blue Mountain—which means we serve some folks in Larimer County. We also serve out Highway 66, and into Hygiene. Anyone who lives in that large area is eligible to come to LEAF for services.
LEAF’s mission is to provide a human services safety net for those in need in the greater Lyons area. We envision a world where our friends and neighbors are cared for in their time of need, and we are working hard to bring that vision to light here in Lyons. We provide a safe, accessible place for individuals and families to connect with comprehensive, coordinated services that help them strengthen their households and become more self-reliant.
In order to support this self-reliance, people need to come to LEAF themselves. Once they do, we don’t share that they came in with anyone. No-one who sees you come through the door knows whether you came in to LEAF to donate a check, or to get a resource referral, or to take advantage of our services.
Those services are for everyone. There is no income limit. Everyone is invited to come in and talk to the resource people and case managers at LEAF. For instance, professional, unbiased Housing & Financial Counselors come monthly to assist anyone—whether you have enough money to be buying your third rental property or are trying to make your social security check last the month. Our case managers have supported people while they filled out grant applications, bankruptcy paperwork, called pension plans, and dealt with the phone company.
Special technicians come in a couple times a month who can sign people up for food stamps, Medicaid, and facilitate applying for direct cash assistance. Direct cash assistance comes from the county, and includes Old Age Pension, Assistance and Disability, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. These technicians will now be available by appointment on several Wednesdays a month, and meet with residents on other days. Appointments are made through LEAF. In the fall, there will be health care navigators available to help with signing up on the Connect for Health Colorado website. All of these services are provided in both English and Spanish.
LEAF also offers emergency basic needs funding assistance. Everyone struggles sometimes. Whether it’s illness, job loss, disaster, disabilities, or unexpected emergencies: people find themselves stuck. LEAF currently partners with eight outside organizations to get funding for local residents, too. Through these partnerships, LEAF can facilitate and/or apply for significantly more financial assistance than it would be able for us to provide on our own.
And, of course, our wonderful, volunteer-run Lyons Community Food Pantry serves about 200 locals a month. The Food Pantry offers high quality food to anyone who can’t save 10% of their income. This enables them to save for emergencies, and perhaps not need to come to LEAF for other help.
LEAF is open for walk-ins and appointments every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Lyons Community Food Pantry is open every Wednesday from 3:30-5 p.m. Call 720-864-4309, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment, and go to our website at leaflyons.org or to our Facebook page LEAF to find out more.