La Puente is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Colorado's San Luis Valley by providing food, shelter, and advocacy for the homeless and community members in crisis. La Puente endeavors to meet immediate needs and to empower people to live independently with dignity.
A group of citizens in Alamosa, Colorado, who were concerned about homelessness, hunger, and poverty in Colorado's San Luis Valley, established La Puente in 1982. Today a diverse community of volunteers contributes thousands of hours of service in support of La Puente Home's mission, continuing the work that began over 30 years ago.
Our residents are isolated by endemic poverty, mountainous terrain, and a large geographic expanse, La Puente was started to keep people from freezing to death in our harsh winters. However, over time and with experience, La Puente recognized that the needs of the homeless and poor were more complex. Throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s La Puente Home expanded to provide a variety of services needed by the San Luis Valley community.
Since 2000, the organization has doubled the size of the shelter in order to serve the increasing needs of the growing community. Today La Puente is a multi-faceted organization comprised of a dedicated staff and numerous full-time volunteers that devote a full year service to the mission of La Puente.
The rural isolation and poverty that exists in the San Luis Valley make it difficult to acquire and maintain ongoing financial support (especially general operating) to provide critical human services. La Puente Enterprises, which includes three thrift stores, a coffee shop, and an antique boutique, generate earned income that help support La Puente services providing job training and employment for the homeless and low-income community residents.
"During my early days I doubted myself. I didn't set my goals high enough. Every step of the way I was thrust into jobs that at first I didn't think I could do. I know now the importance of seeking your goals and always setting them high."
- Bill, Adelante Client
"I had the privilege and opportunity to work with a volunteer maintenance crew. I thought about what I could say that would describe the experience that I shared with those men. After a long time of thinking, I came up with two words in Spanish: La Luz. In English, they mean "the light." It seems to me that La Puente has a way of creating a kind of light in the lives of all those who come here."
- Alvin, Community Volunteer
"My favorite thing about PALS is.... being here!"
- Jadyn, PALS Child
"Now, I can dream about my future."
- Magdalena, Shelter Guest