The Action Center, originally called Jeffco Support Inc., was founded in 1968 as a non-profit dedicated to helping those facing hunger, homelessness and financial instability. The idea was to provide basic human services to residents of Jefferson County on an immediate basis and in a non-judgmental environment. Formal partnership with Church Women United began in May 1969. This marked the birth of intervention services, which remains to be the core of our mission today. In the winter of 1971, a total of 21 families were helped with food. By the end of the 70’s, numbers increased to nearly 130 families served in the months of November and December respectively.
As it became evident that members of the community were struggling more during the holidays, Santa Shop distribution was initiated in 1972 and one year later, more than 600 children received gifts. This was the first sign of what is now a myriad of prevention programs
In 1975 Jeffco Support Inc., changed its name to Jeffco Action Center and emergency services personnel increased to two full-time positions in 1979. This was the beginnings of what is now a counseling corps of staff and volunteers totaling nearly 50 people.
By 1986, The Action Center was serving 14,491 food pantry clients and 3,811 shelter clients. The growth of the facilities coincided with growing community needs and by 1993 more than 28,000 five-day supplies of food and more than 146,000 articles of clothing were given away annually. The end of the 90’s marked the first School Supply distribution and the dedication of a new shelter in 1997. Today we partner with many agencies to help support connection programs
Mag Strittmatter was named Executive Director in early 2006 and continues to serve. Under the direction and leadership of Mag Strittmatter, The Action Center has been able to successfully weather the last five years which brought the second worst economic recession this country has ever seen. Demand for services has jumped 40 percent since the beginning of 2008 and The Action Center is now serving more than 28,000 individuals each year.
In 2011, The Action Center forged a pathway through two new frontiers. A new Capital Campaign was organized and launched, seeking more than $6 million to fully renovate and expand The Action Center to a campus of three buildings over the course of approximately five years. Additionally, a new logo and brand was developed, introducing a new name – The Action Center. This fresh new face of the organization will allow us to continue to broaden and strengthen program and service capabilities into the future as we deal day-in and day-out with the new normal of nearly 160 households each day.
In 2015, Phase One of the Capital Campaign reached completion. The newly renovated Program Services Building opened its doors to the community in April of 2015. The new building includes a Self-Select Grocery which allows clients to select their food alongside a volunteer shopper. The clothing and household areas have more efficient racking and display of items. The second floor is dedicated to case management staff and programs. This provides additional space for Self-Sufficiency Pathways Program case managers, as well as expanded space for intervention program volunteer client advocates.