As a member of the Longmont body of Christ, as an expression of our faith, Agape Longmont serves our neighbors with shelter, food, jobs, and encouragement in the name of Jesus.
Agape Family Services is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit.
It is not a part of a single church, but as a faith-based organization is a service supported by many Christian churches in Longmont as well as other government agencies, businesses, and individuals.
The Safe Haven sheltering model does not include religious practices; it simply serves our poorest neighbors with compassion as an expression of our Christian faith.
In July 2006, Pastor Gary Jefferson of Front Range Christian Fellowship (“FRCF”), Ron Bolton (a volunteer with the OUR Center and H.O.P.E), and Richard Honey (a minister operating "The Well" Christian reading center) felt God's call to provide the homeless of Longmont with emergency shelter.
H.O.P.E. street outreach, which had started a year earlier, had no effective means to get the homeless to the Boulder Shelter, which was usually full. In addition, though homeless, Longmont was their home, and many of them were working through Longmont day labor services.
The ministry was originally named "Christian Outreach & Emergency Sheltering (“COrES”). In October COrEs opened for the first time as an emergency warming center (“shelter”). COrES began sheltering at The Well and in the sanctuary of Front Range Christian Fellowship.
Soon to follow, the Journey Church, with Pastor Rick Ebbers, agreed to open, in rotation, as a third shelter site.
In September of 2010 COrES was approached by the City of Longmont to become an official warming center sub-contractor for the city. At that point, COrES reorganized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit named "Agape Family Services" (AFS).
Later, Central Longmont and Heart of Longmont churches came on board in the rotation of shelter sites.
In the spring of 2016, Agape and HOPE began to discuss how to extend the sheltering service to cover all of the dangerously cold nights of the winter, rather than just the most extreme nights.
We also looked at how to provide a less stressful environment for guests, volunteers and site reps. Some guests were struggling with sobriety and working hard to get on their feet. We wanted to offer them a more peaceful environment.
We looked to the BOHO program for a 2-tier model with a basic service as an emergency warming center and a separate "residence / transition" program for qualified guests.
We worked hard through the summer to implement this big change. With HOPE stepping up to provide the basic EWC service and Agape focusing on a "Safe Haven" program.
We got it put together just in time, with limited additional funds and a lot of scrambling for additional overnight staff and shelter sites (New Creation Church and Faith Community Lutheran).
God clearly provided for this transition through open hearts and willing hands.