1980s: FOCUS ON INCREASED HOUSING FOR FAMILIES & HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION
Terry Benjamin began what would be a 33-year tenure as EFAA’s Executive Director.
At the same time, funding for federal safety net programs were reduced dramatically, creating a rapid increase in poverty and community need. In fact, the number of children living below the poverty line in Colorado doubled in this decade. Existing local services to help those in need were not adequate to meet growing demand. Community members came together to think through new solutions to meet new levels of need.
EFAA retained its focus on families, seniors and people with disabilities, and worked with others in the community to form new nonprofits to meet increasing need outside of EFAA’s scope. Organizations such as Community Food Share and OUR Center came to life.
During this same time, demand for affordable housing skyrocketed, and so did the need for short-term housing for families with children who would otherwise be homeless. To meet this need EFAA began increasing housing stock in both Boulder and Longmont.
After participating in a unique cooperative effort to meet basic needs in Longmont, the Outreach United Resource (OUR) Center of Longmont opened in 1987. For the first few years of its life, EFAA was contracted to manage OUR Center activities.
EFAA launched its first capital campaign in the organization’s 70-year history. The goal was to raise $300,000 for the purchase and renovation of the building that would soon become EFAA’s new home: the old church at 900 Arapahoe Ave. The community stepped in to support the successful campaign.