Life Network opened the doors of its first center in 1983. At that time, the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion on demand for any reason at any stage of development, had been in place for a decade. Both the population, and abortions, were steadily escalating in Colorado Springs.
Known then as Bethany Crisis Pregnancy Services, our first office was located in Village 7 Presbyterian Church. Individuals from Village 7 other local churches provided financial support and volunteers. One year later, that little center had served three hundred and fifty young women.
The name changed to Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center (CSPC) in 1987 to better reflect its mission, and that remains the name for both of Life Network’s pregnancy centers today. As the ministry grew over the next several years, new programs were developed to meet clients’ needs more effectively.
A few years after the pregnancy center opened, shepherding homes were established for expectant mothers in need of housing. Later, an additional home opened for single moms and their children, helping them to achieve independence once they left their shepherding home. As similar programs developed within the community, the CSPC decided to refer clients to these already-established programs. Ultimately, the home was sold, and its sale enabled the ministry to purchase the building that the Galley Road CSPC resides in today.
In 1987, growing rates of premarital sex and teen pregnancy led to the development of a prevention program, now known as Education for a Lifetime (EFL). Initially funded through government and private grants, this program is now in every school district in the city, serves more than 6,000 students annually.
A program to address the painful reality and devastating impact of a man or woman’s past abortion also was started. Today, that post-abortion counseling and education program is known as Bridges of Hope, which offers hope and healing in the context of a community of other women and men dealing with the pain of their past abortions.
In 2004, LifeSteps, an “earn while you learn” parenting program was created to help meet the material needs of clients while developing their parenting skills. Participants watch videos, attend classes and complete homework assignments to earn credits to be exchanged in the Baby Boutique – a free clothing closet. Not only does this help strengthen their role as a parent, it provides the opportunity for long-term mentoring relationships to develop with staff and volunteers. These parenting coaching efforts were later expanded to include ministry to fathers as well.
As this life-changing ministry continued to grow, leadership prayerfully reviewed the purpose and direction of the ministry. Their conclusion? The Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center was not solely a pregnancy center with other ministries attached, but rather a life-affirming ministry that includes life-impacting outreaches. The name Life Network was adopted as an umbrella to better embrace the fullness of the ministry accomplished each day. The Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center name and ministry continue today under the Life Network umbrella. In October 2019, the ministry further expanded its ministry work by opening the Life Network Family Thrift Store, which serves both clients and our community.
Today, our pregnancy centers, plus Education for a Lifetime, Bridges of Hope and our LifeSteps parenting program provide hope, education, encouragement and healing to more than 15,000 people annually.