Past & Future
Where we’ve been
Live the Victory, Inc. was established in April 2005 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to creating opportunities for underserved young adults. Founder, Jerri Schmitz (formerly Jerri Howe) and Sara Mitchell, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, performed an extensive community assessment. The assessment identified a gap in the services available for transitioning and emancipating youth between the ages of 16 and 21, especially those coming out of the juvenile justice system and foster care. The Matthews House Empowering Youth Program was established to provide these youth a support system and help them become self-sufficient.
In 2009, we launched our Strengthening Families Program, expanding services to families with children. Three years later, in July of 2012, we opened our first Community Life Center. This marked the beginning our Building Community Program– a collaborative effort with Poudre School District and the Larimer County Department of Human Services. Our second Community Life Center opened in 2015, making our services even more accessible. The Matthews House Community Life Centers provide a one-stop shop for vital services and specialized, enriching programs for individuals of all ages.
In early 2015, long-time partner, Education Life Training Center (ELTC), approached The Matthews House with a merger proposal. Education and job training is a vital aspect of many participants’ long-term success, and we welcomed ELTC under The Matthews House leadership. The merger took place in April, 2015, officially launching The Matthews House Education & Employment Center (EEC).
Where we’re going
The Matthews House has been, and will continue to be, an advocate for those in need. Since 2000, the poverty rate in Larimer County has increased 54%. There were an estimated 1,326 children in Larimer County schools that were identified as being homeless during the 2010-11 school year. While overall enrollment numbers in Larimer County increased by 8.5% or 3,411 students from 2003-04 to 2012-13, eligibility for the free or reduced lunch program grew by 59.2% or 5,256 students. In 2012-13, over 14,100 students in Larimer County’s public school system received free or reduced lunches.
Our vision for The Matthews House Community Life Centers is to act as a support for Larimer County community members at large, one person at a time. We have done an excellent job “pulling at-risk youth and families out of the river”. Now, by providing services before crisis at our Community Life Centers, and through education and job training at the Education and Employment Center, we can fill the gaps in services that cause individuals to “fall in the river” to begin with.
The heart of Matthews House is community. By caring for those in need, we socially and economically impact the community we all live in, so we can grow stronger together.