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Pitkin County assistance programs.

Those in need of help in Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, or Pitkin County can turn to St. Mary Catholic church for aid. They established the Charity Assistance Fund for local families and individuals. Call (970) 925-7339.

St. Mary’s provides tens of thousands of dollars in financial aid every year to those who are less fortunate. The money is raised from donations from local businesses and individuals. During the past year, St. Mary Parish has given out a wide variety of assistance, including food vouchers, rent help, crisis funds for utilities and more.

Emergency aid

They have partnered with Western Slope charities to provide grants and emergency help to almost 400 families over the last several months. They have handed out free food, distributed money for rental assistance, helped pay heating bills and utilities, offered health, medical and dental care, distributed prescriptions and transportation expenses, among other things.

In addition to this charity program, St. Mary also runs a night shelter program. This can help people who have just been evicted from their apartment or home, and it can also help the valley’s transient and homeless population. The shelter is open every year from Dec. 1 through March 31 and houses about 10-14 individuals each night. While people stay there they can also use other services which can help them get back on their feet. Overall the church provides a warm, safe place to sleep in addition to breakfast and a sack lunch to people who need help. Dial (970) 925-7339 for more information.

LIFT-UP-Life Inter Faith Team on Unemployment & Poverty, or LIFT-UP for short, is an Aspen based nonprofit organization. A number of programs and resources are available for Pitkin County families as well as for individuals in surrounding towns and cities. The organization is committed to providing essential humanitarian assistance and case management. Some of the communities served include Parachute, Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Rifle and New Castle Colorado.





One service, known as the Extended Table Soup Kitchen, offer warm, free, nutritious meals to the low income and homeless. Other more emergency assistance available includes clothing, prescription assistance, canned food, local bus passes, and government surplus USDA commodities.

The Pitkin County based LIFT-UP group has been operating since the 1980s and they do what they can to help the less fortunate. Address is 465 N Mill St. #5, Aspen, CO 81611. Dial 970-625-4496 for intake.

Pitkin County Social Services is the leading government organization. They process applications for federal and state government assistance. This includes the Colorado Works Program, which is the state’s version of TANF or Temporary Aid to Needy Families. It provides for the temporary cash assistance and intensive support for families to both help them pay immediate bills, and find a job. In general, TANF services are offered for women beginning in their 6th month of pregnancy, and/or local families that have one or more children in the home but maybe the parent lost a job, is divorced, or dealing with a disability. Other programs offered include heating and energy bill help from LIHEAP. Call (970) 920-5200

The County Department of Health and Human Services can also direct people to health care and medical programs. This can include Medicare, Medicaid, and others. 970-328-8840.

Community Health Services of Pitkin runs the WIC program. It can offer health care referrals, supplemental food, nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women. Food and assistance is also offered for their infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be a nutritional risk. 0405 Castle Creek Road, Suite 6, Aspen, CO 81611, call 970-920-5420.

SCCC - Sister Carmen Community Center helps the less fortunate in the county and Aspen region. The charity organization offers various forms of help, ranging from a thrift store to free food from a pantry. Other resources include the following.

  • Family Advocacy helps the client gain self-sufficiency.
  • Emergency funds may be offered, ranging from grants for paying rent to heating bills and security deposits.
  • Low income families can learn about child care assistance and medical care.
  • Many other services are run. Click here more information.



By Jon McNamara

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