Find help from Sister Carmen Community Center.

Sister Carmen Community Center provides help for basic needs, such as food and homeless prevention. Clients can also benefit from the agencies Individual and Family Advocacy Services, which is a key to addressing the root cause of the hardship from the Boulder or Pitkin County resident.

A food bank is available to all residents in the SCCC service area. Anyone that is struggling and who needs food is welcome to visit a few times per month, or more often in cases of special circumstances. No appointment is necessary, and as another benefit, the Food Bank is open to walk-ins five days a week.

The pantry also operates like a grocery store, with individuals shopping the aisles with carts, gathering items of their choice. Food amounts available in Pitkin County are determined according to household size. Sister Carmen Community Center is committed to offering nutritious choices, and they will even receive a good amount of donated nutrient-dense and organic food items. The pantry is also able to accommodate specific dietary needs from seniors or the disabled, such as gluten free, diabetic and others.

Food is often donated. Sources include area community drives, local vendors, individuals farms, and gardens in Aspen, including our own organic garden. The non-profit will also receive about 30 percent of their staple items from Community Food Share, which is their local Feeding America affiliate. When necessary, they purchase groceries and canned goods through their Bulk Food Cooperative.

In addition to food, the Boulder County pantry stocks items such as free diapers, toiletries, and feminine products, plus a large supply of baby formula to help parents meet the nutritional needs of their infants. There is also support for single moms. Special items for celebrating birthdays, Christmas meals and holidays are available, too.

SCCC Individual and Family Advocacy Program has staff that work one on one with clients as they take steps toward reaching the goal of economic stability. Numerous services from the non-profit refer people to their goals.

The objective is to provide clients, no matter the background, with the resources they need to reach economic stability. Another benefit is it will be helping to build up the natural community supports that everyone needs in Aspen Colorado. Participants of  Family Advocacy have the opportunity to grow by advocating for themselves and their families within their communities.




The approach implemented is strengths-based, and revolves around the idea that people are agents of change for themselves. The case managers will work with participants to develop individualized service plans. It touches upon some or all of the following services as well, and relies on partners such as  Bridges Out of Poverty, and other groups.

  • Housing Stabilization, which can include Direct Financial Assistance or loans for mortgage, rent payments, utilities, transportation, and medical bills, including prescriptions.
  • Basic goods such as clothing, gently used furniture, and bicycles for transportation.
  • Sister Carmen Community Center staff offer assistance with Applying for Public Benefits.
  • Self-sufficiency such as Financial and Economic Stability Workshops.
  • Career Coaching as well as Job Search support.
  • English as a Second Language and also Family Literacy or GED classes.
  • Other assistance ranges from free legal aid to Support Groups and referrals.
  • The resource also offers its participants access to financial assistance with obtaining prescription medications and/or funds to help pay for co-payments for doctors visits.

SCCC takes part is Boulder County’s Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative. This also offers stability services, ranging from Getting Ahead Workshops which offer economic instability to the ongoing development of a plan for including overall  community support. The Circles Campaign is also part of this service.

Sister Carmen Community Center will try to encourage healthcare for every eligible child. To this end, the agency assists parents with the enrollment process for the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and Medicaid. During this process, the staff also have the opportunity to provide information and education about the importance establishing a primary care physician (PCP) to manage their care on an ongoing basis.




Help with applying for the Child Care Assistance (CCAP) is available through the Individual and Family Advocacy Program. The objective of this service is to provide the opportunity for families to reduce or maybe even eliminate the costs of childcare as a barrier to successful employment. To this end, they will also link participants to Qualistar online as well as the the local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

A low cost Thrift Store stocks items for sale too. There is gently used shoes, dishes, linens, clothing, appliances, and furniture at 701 W. Baseline Road. The goods are sold to members of the Pitkin and Boulder County community at the best prices around. SCCC will welcome and encourage everyone to shop in our Thrift Store and help support the programs.

The main Sister Carmen Community Center can be called at 303-665-4342. The address is 655 Aspen Ridge Dr., Lafayette, CO 80026.




By Jon McNamara

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