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.
What Agape Means to Me >
Safe Haven is
Where Friends become family.
A new and bright beginning.
Where homelessness ends
and a new future begins.
Where the homeless can find hope.
A guest came in every night extremely drunk, withdrawn from society, and had a horrible body odor. No matter what anyone tried to do he would not face any person, but simply stare at the floor, turn in his personal items and go straight to bed. Even though he was offered shower and laundry twice a week, he rarely accepted the offer to do so. One night the smell of his feet was permeating throughout the shelter causing great irritation and breathing discomfort among other guests and volunteers, so much so that an AFS volunteer felt some- thing needed to be done. While it was not
a shower or laundry night, and a special allowance could not be made, the volunteer took a bucket and soap down to the guest, woke him gently and requested to wash his feet.
He was immediately mortified, and the volunteer assured him it was nothing to be ashamed of, but that old shoes and socks would cause the problem. After a moment of conversation, the guest consented to having his feet washed. The volunteer then provided him with new socks. He hurriedly put them on to keep his feet clean in order to mingle among other guests. Each night from then on, he increasingly became more sociable, and with a new found sobriety, realized his health was in grave danger. During a doctor’s visit, it was discovered he was in liver failure and any more alcohol would have caused his liver to shut down. This guest has been sober for several years now, holding down two jobs, and is now in permanent stable housing.