Life Network plans to open pregnancy center in Widefield
Last updated 2/26/2021 at 2:08pm
Life Network, a Colorado Springs nonprofit organization that provides counseling, resources and free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to parents facing unexpected pregnancies, has announced it has purchased property in the Fountain Valley to become the region's third pregnancy center.
The center will be housed at 97 Widefield Blvd., which until recently served as a county WIC office. That program has moved just a few blocks away to the new El Paso County Public Health facility at 6436 S. Hwy. 85/87.
As with Life Network's other pregnancy centers, a cornerstone of the facility will be the offer of free ultrasounds to its clients as they consider their options. Life Network promotes alternatives to abortion.
"We had 225 lives saved as a result of ultrasounds in the last year," Life Network President Rich Bennett said.
Life Network officials say they have submitted plans to the county, and they expect to wait four to six weeks before obtaining approval for renovations. Their goal is to have the office open in May or June.
Because the programs to be offered in the new location include medical services, the building will require certain upgrades beyond what existed with WIC. Those include safety doors on the front entrance and additional plumbing in certain rooms.
Life Network also provides educational programming for both mothers and fathers as they move through various stages of pregnancy and parenting. Participants can earn "Baby Bucks" (or "Man Bucks" for the fathers) to obtain important items such as clothes, cribs and formula in the Baby Boutique, which Bennett described as a "warm, charming baby clothes shop" stocked with new and gently used clothes for mom and baby. They can also earn gift cards for use in the Life Network Thrift Store, located in Colorado Springs.
Life Network opened the doors to its first pregnancy center in Colorado Springs in 1983. The name initially was Bethany Crisis Pregnancy Services but later changed to Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center – which is what both Colorado Springs facilities are called now.
Services over the years have expanded and today include post-abortion counseling, suicide prevention programs in schools, STD tests, and many others. All services are free.
Bennett said Life Network's decision to open in Widefield is a critical step because the organization's internet data indicate that many of people who search for pregnancy services around Colorado Springs reside in the Fountain Valley.
"The Fountain Valley is an area of need," Bennett said.
Volunteers are critical to Life Network's operations. Help is needed in a wide variety of areas, including client advocates, parenting coaches for moms and dads, medical personnel to conduct sonograms, administration and other miscellaneous tasks. Both men and women are encouraged to volunteer. The center likely will be open during daytime hours, plus one evening a week to accommodate clients' work schedules.
Several training sessions will occur throughout March and April. Anyone interested in volunteering should sign up online at elifenetwork.com/volunteer, or call Volunteer Coordinator Kristin Ellsworth at (719) 355-1179.
There are opportunities to help both at the new Widefield location and at various sites in Colorado Springs.