Originally founded as a community resource in the Five Points neighborhood, Focus Points has always grown in response to community need.
Focus Points was founded in 1995 when the principal of Ebert Elementary approached Patti and Terri Lohman asking for them to start a family resource center at the Five Points elementary school. As a small, emerging non-profit Focus Points served mainly African American Families in the neighboring East Village Community. In the late 1990’s, Focus Points grew, moved to the Child Opportunity Program Building at 2500 Curtis Street, and launched its early childhood education home visiting program HIPPY, and its English Language Acquisition program. In the early 2000’s, Focus Points sustained continuous growth, and began to provide onsite childcare to accompany its English Classes. By 2006, Focus Points was providing English Classes at 10 locations across the Greater Denver Area.
In the early 2000’s, the Family Resource Center Association was formed, opening up new funding opportunities for Focus Points. In the late 2000’s, Focus Points added two new programs: GED Preparation and Family Development, including linking families to health insurance. In 2008, Focus Points was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Business Social Responsibility Award.
In 2010, Focus Points moved to its home at 48th & Columbine, formerly occupied by the Cross Community Coalition. With the move, Focus Points expanded its services to Globeville Elyria-Swansea (GES). With a new service area, Focus Points met community need by expanding its health and wellness programming, including parenting classes, exercise classes, and transportation. At that time, Focus Points gathered stakeholders together to create a GES non-profit learning circle. In 2011, Focus Points received the Mayor’s Diversity Award for its exemplary work supporting Latino families.
In 2012, the Central I70 Redevelopment project was announced, promising to bring change to GES. Early on, community members convened at Focus Points to discuss the potential impacts of the project. In order to help families increase their earning potential and their ability to remain in the homes as rent and mortgages rapidly increase, Focus Points launched its Economic Opportunity Department in 2016. This initiative bore two programs, Workforce Development and Comal Heritage Food Incubator, part of our social enterprise arm.
Looking into the future, Focus Points maintains a firm commitment to assessing and responding to community needs. We are exploring new strategies to increase families’ earning potential, while also maintaining our staple early childhood and family development initiatives. With the vision that families empower themselves by attaining the tools needed to unlock their potential and contribute to a thriving, vibrant community, Focus Points is embarking on a three year strategic plan to serve the community in this period of urban redevelopment and change.
- 1995 Founded in 1995 as part of the 1994 Family Resource Center Act.
- Patti & Terri Lohman recruited by principal of Ebert Elementary to start a family resource center. (Ebert Elementary closed in 2005, and a magnet school called Polaris is there now)
- Originally in Five Points serving mainly African American families
- Moved to the former home of the Cross-Community Coalition at 48th & Columbine
- 1997 moves to Central Baptist Church
- 1997 Adult Ed program starts
- 1998 HIPPY is piloted; Focus Points moves to the Child Opportunity Program building at 2500 Curtis Street
- 2000 Growth; PAT, HIPPY, Adult Ed, and ECE
- 2000-2002 – FRCA is formed; Focus Points attracted funders like Rose, Buell, Anschutz
- 2006 FP providing English at 10 sites across metro Denver
- 2007 Family & Community Development Department is born; GED is born
- 2008 Awarded Martin Luther King Jr. Business Social Responsibility Award
- 2009 Focus Points gets a new logo, a website, better salaries, Healthcare access begins
- 2010 Focus Points moves to Cross Community Coalition, and finally owns its own home! Services Expand to GES, Familias Extraordinarias Curriculum Developed
- 2011 Familias Extraordinarias launched, Pickle agreement with RTD, Indira is hired, Focus Points creates GES non-profit learning circle, Focus Points receives Mayor’s Diversity Award for its service to Latino families.
- 2012 Julia hired full time. I70 talks start; neighborhood meetings are hosted at Focus Points
- 2015 Focus Points receives Noorda funding for Workforce Development and Early Learning@Mile High
- 2016 Focus Points hires Slavica Park as Director of Workforce Development. Comal is launched + workforce Development program
- 2017 Sheridan becomes Interim Executive Director
- 2018 Focus Points hires Jules as ED, Receives grant funding to plan Huerta Urbana, PAT receives Blue Ribbon Status, Comal Receives MLK Award, Workforce Development program gets off the ground