1 in 15 children in Colorado will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18. That’s more than 84,000 youth. Judi’s House is the only research-based organization in Metro Denver devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families. Providing free care to as many as 1,600 children and caregivers annually, we need additional space to support these families. A new home for Judi’s House, and the research and training initiatives of JAG Institute, will allow us to improve access to services for our community and ensure the sustainable impact of the organization for years to come.
Experiencing a significant death loss during childhood often results in profound stress and adversity, and without appropriate support, can derail a child’s development. Since opening our doors in 2002, Judi’s House has served more than 12,000 children and caregivers with Comprehensive Grief Care® at no cost to families. We invest in the lives of young people by helping them build coping skills and resilience necessary to adjust to their loss and handle future challenges. By investing in preventive care, research, education, and awareness, we are working to create social change that ensures a compassionate response to all grieving children and promotes healthy growth.
Through the work of JAG Institute, established in 2014 and named in honor of Judith Ann Griese, we are elevating childhood bereavement as a public health priority. As a national center of excellence in childhood grief, JAG Institute combines the rigor of evaluation and research with training and education to advocate for grieving children and families, provide resources and clinically sound tools, publish critical research findings and practice-based knowledge, train professionals in grief-focused, trauma-informed care, and educate communities on response to grief. A new home will provide the space necessary for effective and efficient training and research, so we can expand our ability to create grief sensitive communities.
We are proud to have met the continuous demand for our services at Judi’s House/JAG Institute. Despite our success, our current buildings are plagued with issues related to real estate development, traffic congestion, parking, urban safety concerns, cramped therapeutic space, and insufficient training facilities. To realize our potential and draw closer to our vision, we need a home designed to unify our efforts and improve accessibility. Our charming Victorian homes offer no room for growth and are increasing burden to our families already struggling with loss.
We have an established history of breaking down barriers for bereaved families seeking support and opening doors to healing. By creating a new home, we will eliminate our physical limitations and embrace a future of sustained programming and expanded reach into Aurora, Metro Denver and beyond. Most importantly, our new home will become a center for inspiration and hope in times of adversity for children and families. Together, we will work to ensure no child is alone in grief.
Our new home at 10125 E. 25th Avenue is nestled between Central Park and Aurora — just a few blocks east of the Stanley Marketplace. Purchased from Aurora Public Schools, the lot is surrounded by children and families making it an ideal location for our work.
What makes Judi’s House special is what happens within these walls. But the house itself provides challenges as we lack space for whole-family and community group activities and room for kids to just be kids. I am grateful to be involved in such a meaningful project which will literally remove barriers to healing for children and families.Mike Van Meter, Volunteer Since 2002