With great enthusiasm, we give our support to the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign of River Bridge Regional Center (RBRC). The renovation of an additional property, expansion of programs, and addition to RBRC’s operating reserve fund will ensure that all child abuse victims continue to receive services in a safe, confidential, and child-friendly environment. The success of this campaign will also ensure that all sexual assault victims – children and adults – have access to essential medical treatment.
In December 2017, RBRC marked its 10th anniversary. Since opening its doors, RBRC has served over 1,660 children and 2,490 family members in a four-county area. RBRC provides a safe haven for children to speak about what has been hidden in their hearts. As they begin their healing journey, River Bridge helps them move forward to rebuild their lives and forge brighter futures for themselves.
When RBRC was founded a decade ago, no one could anticipate that its services would outgrow the existing facility. Since 2007, much has changed in how RBRC serves clients, partners, and the community. RBRC has expanded its reach to serve the large geographic region of Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle, and Rio Blanco counties. The Center now receives referrals for victims beyond child sexual abuse. In 2018, RBRC sees child physical abuse victims and adults with developmental delays. It sees children who may have over-sexualized behavior issues or who may have witnessed crimes or violence.
During the 2015 re-accreditation process, the reviewers concluded that RBRC has outgrown its current facility. The Center is receiving more referrals than ever before. Referrals for forensic interview services have increased 179% in the last 10 years, and, in just two years requests for medical exams have seen a 1,500% increase. Scheduling conflicts are becoming more frequent with forensic interviews necessarily being conducted at the same time as mental health and/or medical clients are being treated. It is essential to ensure that clients are not at risk of encountering other clients. Confidentiality is increasingly difficult to ensure.
In addition, RBRC has taken the Mount West Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program under its umbrella. Currently, the only space for adult medical exams is at the Garfield County Public Health building in Rifle.
Responding to these needs, RBRC has embarked upon the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign. River Bridge is fortunate to have unwavering support from Garfield County and the Garfield County Commissioners. With its financial support in 2007, Garfield County made River Bridge’s current home a reality. Now, with RBRC’s pressing needs for expansion, the Commissioners have again stepped forward. In December 2017, Garfield County purchased a 3,450-sq.-ft. single story building at 504 21st Street. This Building is conveniently located kitty-corner to and a short walk from the Center’s current facility at 520 21st Street.
Although Garfield County purchased the new property, RBRC is responsible for raising the funds not only to renovate the building but to accomplish so much more. The success of the Bridge to Their Futures Campaign will also enable RBRC to provide a permanent home for the Mountain West SANE program, enlist more staff, fund the added cost of utilities and general operations of two buildings, and increase its operating reserve.
River Bridge Regional Center has reached a critical point where community support is essential. Please join us in ensuring that it can continue to serve far into the future. Your meaningful contribution will be an enduring investment in the well-being of children, of families, and of our communities.
Joyce Bulifant, Honorary Co-Chair
Connie Calaway, Honorary Co-Chair
Mark Gould, Honorary Co-Chair
Marilyn Van Derbur, Honorary Co-Chair
Starting on November 1st, 2018 donations to River Bridge can be scheduled for Colorado Gives Day. When you donate on Colorado Gives Day your money goes further. Community First Foundation and FirstBank are presenting Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. This annual statewide movement celebrates and increases philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. The $1 Million Incentive Fund created by the partners is one of the largest giving-day incentive funds in the country.