FORT COLLINS – Realities For Children has purchased four acres of land adjacent to its Homebase Campus at 308 E. County Road 30 in Fort Collins, with plans to create a peaceful place for children to begin healing from abuse, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.
“A donor made it possible for us to acquire a beautiful piece of land that will allow us to build the ‘Healing Sanctuary’ so desperately needed,” said Craig Secher, executive director of Realities
For Children, in a prepared statement. “The Realities For Children Healing Sanctuary will provide a world-class model of healing support for trauma and sexual-assault survivors.”
One of Realities For Children’s primary roles is to identify changing needs and provide vital support. During the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a media release issued Wednesday, the organization saw an unprecedented need for emergency services as requests skyrocketed, from nine children daily before the pandemic to 15 children daily, a 67% increase.
The dramatic increase in sexual assault against minors, a lack of support for ongoing care, and poor mental health resources for survivors “has led to the perfect storm of self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicide,” said Secher. “To address these serious mental-health issues – and associated life-threatening impacts – our children need a healing sanctuary.”
The vision for the sanctuary is as a multifunctional resource that connects trauma survivors with the healing power of nature, while also offering numerous programs in a safe and welcoming setting.
The compound, scheduled to open in 2025, will offer an inspiration center, a sexual-assault healing center, interactive therapy gardens, a therapy farm and wraparound support, the Realities release said.
Designed by SPD Architecture and Michael McBride Landscape Architecture, the project’s estimated cost is $6 million, with half that amount raised to date.
Founded in 1995, Realities For Children provides support for abused, neglected or at-risk children in Northern Colorado. In 2022, it provided 5,094 children with emergency funding and served 5,240 children and guardians with youth activities and facilities space. It represents more than 260 business members and 40 partner agencies.