Grand opening for new River Bridge Regional Center facility
Ribbon-cutting ceremony in Glenwood Springs set for 11 a.m. on Dec. 7
December 3, 2018
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The River Bridge Regional Center is officially opening its doors at its new home in Glenwood Springs, and the public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Dec. 7. The facility is also home to Mountain West SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Alliance, which serves residents of the Ninth Judicial District, including Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Pitkin counties.
River Bridge provides services to child-abuse victims, their families, and the community, including sex assault examinations for both adults and children. The nonprofit works with law enforcement, mental health therapists, medical providers, prosecutors, and victim advocates to promote healing, and to ensure that offenders are held accountable for their crimes.
The new building, located at 504 21st Street, was leased for $1 annually from Garfield County, which owns the property. It includes office space that will also be utilized by Garfield County Department of Health and Human Services. A nearby property at 520 21st Street continues to serve as the River Bridge Child Advocacy Center.
Blythe Chapman, executive director for River Bridge, said Garfield County has been instrumental in aiding River Bridge’s mission to provide its services for children, youth, and adults in a safe and confidential setting.
“We want to say thank you to the Garfield County Commissioners for making this possible for our community,” she said. “The commissioners have assisted us over the past 11 years, and they’ve really stepped up their support with the new facility.”
Chapman added that the goal of River Bridge’s “Bridge to Their Futures” campaign is to raise $500,000 toward the program’s expansion, covering the costs of renovation work, the hiring of two additional needed staff members, and utilities and general operations of two buildings. Valley View Hospital recently pledged funding toward the campaign.
“We have a tremendous support network of donors,” she said. “We’ve now raised a little more than $100,000, so far. The entire community has been very generous and supportive of our program.”
The financial support helps River Bridge provide the community with crucial services, the need for which is on the rise. River Bridge has seen referrals for forensic interview services increase by 179 percent over the last decade, and requests for medical exams have surged by 1,500 percent in the past two years alone.
“This is a needed expansion, for sure,” said Commissioner John Martin. “River Bridge provides an invaluable service, protecting our most vulnerable, the youth who need our help.”River Bridge