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Letter to the Editor: Lisa Trigilio

By Administrator

May 10, 2024

To the Editor:

Fort Lyon is Not the Cause of Homelessness and Addiction, It Is a Resource.

I have worked at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community in Las Animas for over a decade and live in this region. I was saddened recently to rad an article with unsubstantiated claims that some of the issues at the Bent Fort Inn are a result of our Fort Lyon campus. Since the Fort Lyon program open in September of 2013, we have had 2,881 enrollments of individuals recovering from substance use disorders.

Some of our local partners such as Region six Alcohol and Drug Abuse (RESADA), Valley-Wide Health Systems, and Otero College understand that Fort Lyon is not a cause of addiction and/or mental health in our region, but a resource for our community. We partner to help this region address struggling local individuals as well as those from across the state.

We take calls from people experiencing homelessness in the area and offer them available resources—whether or not that person has had any affiliation with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in the past. We also host local recovery meetings that are open to anyone in the region who wants to connect and talk through substance use difficulties—which we all know can happen to anyone, whether housed or unhoused. We hold weekly Friends of Fort Lyon recovery meetings every week in Las Animas, La Junta and Lamar to provide support to former residents of our program.

When a resident of the Fort Lyon program is unsuccessful, our staff work hard to help that person return to their originating community where they might have more social or family connections.

It’s also an unfortunate myth that everyone here at Fort Lyon come from other counties in Colorado and that we are not a local resource for our own neighbors. Substance use disorders are a part of every community, and we are here to help anyone struggling, including local community members. Referrals to our program come from almost every county in Colorado, not just Denver. In 2023, 146 Fort Lyon residents came from Southeast Colorado, accounting for 36% of all intakes. Only 6 of these individuals exited to Bent County without having graduated from the program. It is also worth noting that 13% of the folks we served in the past ten years have been veterans, as we continue the long tradition of military and veteran service here at Fort Lyon.

Some of our graduates, who have completed their journey and are ready to start a new chapter in their lives, do choose to stay in this beautiful place that we call home, and that’s a good thing. They are part of our Friends of Fort Lyon and support each other and the local economy as employees and customers. They too add to our community, rather than detract from it.

I would be happy to welcome any community members to come tour Ft Lyon and learn the truth about our program and get to know our staff and residents. People can also access our reports and videos. Below is the link to the latest video. I ask you all, my community members, to learn about Fort Lyon with an open mind and heart, not from unsubstantiated assumptions, and see for yourselves the great work we do.

Thank you,

Lisa Trigilio
Program Director of Fort Lyon
Phone: 719-662-1111
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Link to video:

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