Last summer, Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund (LEAF) competed against another non-profit in town to obtain the old Lyons Depot building for their new offices. Eventually LEAF moved on to a larger facility, the old sheriff’s offices (called the “brown shed”), and began its journey to build a new larger space for its clients,… our community. By signing the lease with the Town of Lyons on this building, LEAF would be saving around two-thirds (66 percent) in costs vs. taking over the old Depot building, which they would have had to renovate and expand with an additional new structure. The goal is to raise $1.25 million dollars. So far they have raised $1,013,173, which is 81% of their goal. Two large donors have got the project rolling. One is Boulder County’s Worthy Cause which gave $400,000 in funding. (The Town of Lyons is working on their contribution.)
And, a large portion of the funding is thanks to Congressman Joe Neguse who secured a federal grant in the amount of $575,000 for the nonprofit in the last Congress. He took the opportunity to come to Lyons on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, to speak with those involved in the organization about how they will use this funding and the services they provide the community.
LEAF director Lory Barton gathered all of her hard-working, kind-hearted volunteers and conducted a detailed speech and tour of the food bank facility (currently located in the Lyons Community Church’s lower level hall, where their lease is running out). They were joined by Lyons Mayor Hollie Rogin.
The group then walked three blocks down the streets of Lyons, to the proposed new facility. The brown storage shed is at 432 5th Avenue. Rep. Neguse was impressed and kept saying that this was an excellent example of a town coming together for the greater good. “Now that’s community!” He was surprised to hear that LEAF serves 22.6% of the local population. Two current patrons, Gloria and Cheryl, spoke about their emergency needs, from rent to food, and how LEAF has assisted them.
“We were very excited to walk downtown today with Congressman Joe Neguse and the team from the Lyons Food Pantry, and share with him our vision for our new permanent home,” said Lory, “With our own space, we will be able to serve more people in more ways, solve more problems, and help more neighbors get to stable independence.”
“You’ve put together a great project,” said Rep. Neguse. “Thank you for what you do. And, we will be back!”
Rep. Joe Neguse (left); 4th from left LEAF Director Lory Barton,
Mayor Hollie Rogin, Mental Wellness Director Cherie Maureaux.
With Food Pantry Volunteers
The Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund, is the human services nonprofit that provides a Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, no-cost Mental Wellness & Addiction Recovery services, direct financial assistance/case management in the Greater Lyons area and surrounding mountain communities.
LEAF needs a dedicated space from which to continue providing these vital human services in the Greater Lyons area and surrounding mountain communities. LEAF plans to renovate an existing Town-owned warehouse from where it can provide all of our services.
Additionally, LEAF will be able to add space for a community medical clinic, a civic staging area for use during emergencies such as a flood or wildfire, the ability to partner with local law enforcement to provide co-responder services, and the potential for short-term transitional housing.
Looking into the future, human services needs will grow as affordable housing is introduced in the community in 2023. Funding this modest proposal will ensure that human services remain available and accessible in our underserved community.
===To donate, go to LEAFlyons.org and choose “We are here” capital campaign. Checks are also accepted
===Congressman Joe Neguse is the U.S. representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district since 2019, and re-elected in November 2022. The district is based in Boulder and includes many of Denver’s northwestern suburbs, including Lyons.
===See Lyons Recorder article describing the transaction, with color renderings of the proposed new offices.