A Tradition of Caring Since 1927
Miss Emily Griffith founded Griffith Centers in 1927. The background of the organization since its inception holds an impactful story; join us on a journey of our history.
Emily Griffith was an educator, a visionary, and an advocate for children. Her mission was to provide children with an education and the opportunity to become self-supporting. To do this, she established a home where children would find shelter, companionship, and compassionate guidance. Miss Emily’s vision was to inspire children to believe in themselves to overcome their problems. Her vision guided the creation of Griffith Centers’ diverse programming and continually pushed us forward in providing innovative services for all members of our beloved communities.
With the support of the Kiwanis Club of Denver, Emily Griffith founded and opened a residence for homeless boys located at Number 9 Pearl St., promoted as “a home for the boy who needs one.” In the first four years, 233 young men resided at Number 9 Pearl Street and attended school and worked while having a place to call home.
In 1952, a gymnasium and workshop were added to Number 9 Pearl St. to allow space for hobbies, education, and recreation. In 1964, Number 9 Pearl St., now called Emily Griffith Center, relocated to 1260 Franklin St. to grow their influence.
As the nation begins to recognize the enormity of child abuse and neglect, Emily Griffith Center expands its overall focus from a group home to a treatment center. In 1975, an on-site residential school began.
After 53 years in Denver, Emily Griffith Center expands to a 100-acre ranch in Larkspur, CO. The Center introduced Animal Therapy to meet the increasingly complex needs of troubled children. A ropes course was built, providing a physical component to the therapeutic plan to build confidence and teamwork in residents. In 1999, a treatment center in Colorado Springs opened, later expanding to include an independent living center and day treatment program.
At the turn of the century, children are more emotionally troubled than ever before. Emily Griffith Center, which updated its name to Griffith Centers for Children, continued to expand its innovative programs to reach additional children, opening a new residential treatment facility for boys in Rifle, CO, and their first residential program for girls in Grand Junction, CO.
In 2002, Griffith Centers merged with CHINS UP to offer community-based programs, including foster homes, adoption, and family preservation services.
As the importance of integrating children into the community grew, the decision to consolidate to our Colorado Springs campus precipitated the closing of our Rifle, Grand Junction, and Larkspur residential programs.
Griffith Centers for Children opened a location in Denver where it originally started with our founder Emily Griffith. Community-based Family Preservation services continue to grow and, to this day, are available in Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley, Grand Junction, and Pueblo.
A Transitional Skills Program opened for youth who have completed their intensive treatment and are ready to leave our Center. This program guides them through job searches, graduating from high school, obtaining their G.E.D., and finding an apartment. We launched a Truancy Prevention Program in partnership with school districts and truancy courts to increase student engagement in school.
Griffith Centers launched RELOAD in 2017 to guide youth in our Community Programs through life skills development.
In 2018, Griffith Centers launched a Tele-Behavioral Health program to offer remote sessions for clients that do not have easy access to services from qualified counselors in the comfort of their own homes or office. We found this program incredibly beneficial during the COVID pandemic and moving forward to continue supporting our clients and addressing treatment needs.
In 2022, as we continue to evolve, we launched our P.A.S.A. program, supporting adults with disabilities and placement support for clients who are “aging out” of the system and still in need of transitional help.
With the launch of P.A.S.A. and serving adults with disabilities, our updated name moved away from “for children”; we are now known as “Griffith Centers.”
In addition to expanding our services to serve adults and children, we are launching a Substance Abuse Program.