Grand Junction Office

Service Area: Mesa & Delta Counties

Address: 740 Gunnison Ave.

Grand Junction, CO 81501

Phone: 970-241-0315

Toll Free: 800-613-2271

Hours: 8a-5p M-Th, 8a-12p F

Closed Daily at 12:00-12:30 for lunch

Glenwood Springs Office

Service Area: Eagle, Pitkin & Garfield Counties

Address: 823 Blake Ave, Ste 102

Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601

Phone: 970-718-5155

Toll Free: 800-613-2271

Hours: 8a-5p M-Th, 8a-12p F

Closed Daily at 12:00-12:30 for lunch

Montrose Office

Service Area: Montrose, Ouray & San Miguel Counties

Address: 245 S. Cascade, Ste B

Montrose, CO 81401

Phone: 970-765-2016

Toll Free: 800-613-2271

Hours: 8a-5p M-Th

Closed Daily at 12:00-12:30 for lunch

Salida Office

Service Area: Chaffee, Lake, Gunnison & Hinsdale Counties

Address: 211 E. 3rd St.

Salida, CO 81201

Phone: 719-207-4573

Toll Free: 800-613-2271

Hours: 8a-5p M-Th, 8a-12p F

Closed Daily at 12:00-12:30 for lunch

News & Announcements

In Memory of Evelyn Tileston

May 11, 1938 – December 5, 2021

Longtime Craig resident, Evelyn Tileston, died Sunday, December 5, 2021, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction. She was 83 years old. Services were held January 4, 2022, at St. Mark’s Church of Grace in Craig. Father Bain White presided. Interment followed at the Craig Cemetery. Mary Eveyln Hafner was born May 11, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Charles and Sallie Calahan Hafner. She attended the University of Cincinnati obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1960. In 1963, Evelyn met and married Gordon Tileston in Cincinnati. She spent her working years as director of The Independent Life Center in Craig, an agency for individuals with disabilities. She was an avid volunteer for the Senior Center in Craig and was known for her gift of grant writing. Evelyn was a devout member of St. Mark’s Church of Grace in Craig and was a proud member of the church choir. Evelyn is survived by her son, Charles (Michelle) Tileston, of Grand Junction, CO; her sister, Donna (Larry) Fiely, of Celina, OH; and four nieces and nephews. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Gordon in 2014 and her sister Barbara. Memorial contributions may be made to Craig Senior Center or St. Mark’s Church of Grace, C/O Grant Mortuary, 621 Yampa Ave., Craig, CO 81625.

From our Executive Director, Linda Taylor:

I knew Evelyn long before we were both in the IL Movement. She was a Rehabilitation Orientation and Mobility teacher and Homemaker teacher working for DVR in the 90’s when I was the Adult Services Director at Horizons in Steamboat Springs. She worked with our low-vision and blind consumers giving them skills to navigate their community. When her position was cut by DVR, she established the Independent Living Center in Craig through a DVR Establishment grant in 1997. She did so by carving out 5 counties previously assigned to the Center for Independence in Grand Junction. She won the state grant by showing that these counties were not effectively served by CFI. Evelyn was fiercely independent and a true advocate for others with disabilities. Besides her work with the IL Movement, she pushed for the establishment of a Colorado Commission for the Blind modeled after the Colorado Commission for the Deaf. It was short-lived but elevated blind issues to the highest level of state government. Today the NorthWest Center for Independence is the successor to the Independent Life Center started by Evelyn in 1997. It continues to serve people with disabilities across the northwest corner of the state. Condolences to her son and extended family.

2021 Needs Assessment

We are conducting this survey to help us identify the needs of the 12 counties we serve. Our goal is to identify which areas are lacking services or needing to amp up services currently offered, not just from CFI but all agencies across our communities. Let us know how we can better help you navigate.

Welcome to 2022!

ASL COVID-19 Video Resources

The COVID-19 American Sign Language (ASL) videos below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were supported, in part, by a grant from the CDC Foundation, using funding provided by its donors. The materials were created in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech. View the full CDC COVID-19 ASL YouTube playlist for additional videos.

AccessiBe: Don't just do it to be compliant, do it because it's the right thing to do; Open the Internet

We are proud to be partners with making the web accessible for everyone with the #1 automated web accessibility solution for ADA & WCAG compliance, AccessiBe. Not only are they making everything more accessible with the plug-in seen on our very own website but are also developing a new search engine specific to people with disabilities. AccessFind, the search engine, will allow easy access to accessible websites through simple searches using keywords. If interested in learning more please check out the videos above and stay tuned for us to share information as AccessFind launches and becomes live. 

White flag with a note to a family member lost to COVID-19.

In Commemoration of Lives Lost to COVID-19

A flag, part of a Commemoration Day Art Installation on the front lawn at Center for Independence on Nov. 1st, reveals the raw emotion of a family member in memory of a loved one taken by COVID-19.

Contact Us

 If you have questions about services we offer please complete this contact form and someone from the appropriate department/location will respond.

Areas We Serve

The Center for Independence proudly serves 12 counties of the Western Slope of Colorado with offices in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Salida and Montrose.  

Meet Our Staff

Click here to see our detailed staff list with personal staff bios.

Apply for Services

The Center for Independence has been serving people with disabilities on the Western Slope of Colorado since 1982. Our services include benefits counseling, peer counseling, personal systems advocacy, information and referral, support groups, transitional support, vocational support, independent living skills classes and education. All individuals with disabilities are eligible for services free of charge.

Community Comments

Lisa Lingo – Oct. 2017

Some of the most caring, hard-working people for people that need it…if they can’t help you they will find someone who can.

L.O. – Aug. 2020

I just wanted to share my very happy experience I have had with Tobie Truman at the Salida satellite office of the Center for Independence, as she has worked tirelessly to help me get my life together. In February 2020, I had to leave my job due to rather marked symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Hence, I am no longer able to work. But Tobie figured out what I would need to make it on my own, disabled and unable to work. I have been working with Tobie on my case, which is coming to a very happy, successful result of all her hard work. I have been able to get to know her well, and what I see is a very energetic, dedicated, people-oriented, bright, and professional woman.

Tobie gives her clients all of her attention. I appreciate her very much. I can live comfortably with a decent income. I never would have been able to figure out the path I needed to go down on my own. Tobie Thruman is a super asset to a community in dire need.

D.R. – Aug. 2020

Dear Center for Independence,

I would like to thank you and your employee, Ruby Martinez, for providing care to those who need it most in Western Colorado and in Mesa County. We most appreciate Ruby’s hard work and dedication to helping our family navigate the SSDI system and help us manage the after-effects of Cliff’s massive stroke.

In appreciation, enclosed please find a donation of $1,500 to help assist others.

Mesa County Veteran Services Officer – Jan. 2021

Thank you for doing everything you can! I’ve heard nothing but good things about your service to our community.

Cheri Martin – Jan. 2021

Cheri was referred to CFI by Grand Valley Peace & Justice in January 2021. Her RV/home had broken down on the interstate in Garfield County, Colorado. Law enforcement stopped to check on her. Not having any proof of insurance they took her drivers license and impounded her RV, then sent her to Grand Junction directing her to services. She had no money, no medications for her mental illness, no ID, no food and was not prepared for the cold weather. CFI case manager Tracy Morton helped her get a replacement ID, get a motel room for a couple of nights, new clothes and some hot meals. In the meantime, Tracy set up a management plan for her in our Glenwood Springs office where she wanted to be located. In a video interview she stated, “I was almost exhausted, passed out to sleep forever… This is an amazing place with amazing people…They’ve given me hope. CFI and Tracy saved my life.”

Vicki & Batman – Mar. 2021

Hi Mary,

I just wanted to let you know how deeply grateful I am to you. You have put up with me through my anger, impatience, fear and joy and helped Batman and me get into our home. Thank you, Mary! You are a wonderful person. You helped me come out of a very dark place in my life. This year has been one of the toughest times in my life and the good Lord put people like yourself here to see me through. So, from Batman and I, THANK YOU for caring about us.

David Reimer – June 2021

To Linda Taylor,

Thank you for bringing Tobie Thurman and Amber Jacobs into my life. They have been a great help. They have been my backbone of support and don’t give up. You have two great people working for you. I can’t tell you how much they’ve done for me and the hope she and Amber have given me when I needed it most. They believed in me when no one else would.

Tobie and Amber are a big help in the Salida community and they do a great job. Tobie was a friend when I needed one. She has been like a sister I never had and got things done for me and never gave up. She is an inspiration to me and others she has helped. She has a kind heart and cares for people in need. I would refer anyone to her who needed help. Thanks again for fighting for me.

Glenwood Springs Consumer - June 2021

I’m in a program called Center for Independence and you so kindly bought me a lock for my bike.
This means so very much to me because we are strangers and I believe showing kindness to strangers is the greatest form of love there is.  It truly would save humanity if more people would believe in kindness to strangers. And you my dear friend have restored my faith in humanity just a bit.
This world we live in seems to focus on only trusting and loving our family and friends, which I am strongly against that way of thinking because it installs fear.
We are truly of ONE race in this world. And we truly are capable of love everyone.
Anyways I could go on for days talking about this. But the point is you are truly a beautiful person and I wholeheartedly thank you.

V. Johnson - October 2021

Dear Mary & Tracy,

Just wanted to thank you for helping me during a time when everything in my life was falling apart!

I’m now in an apartment, taking classes for a new career and focusing on self care.

Thank you for being a part of my new start.

Robin Henson - January 2022

To Whom It May Concern,

I find myself to be in a rather unique situation penning this email.  For approximately the past seven years I have suffered from a debilitating nerve condition.  I have seen multiple specialists and have had two brain procedures and one major brain surgery.  It has been difficult to find an advocate to help me pull all of this together and access resources as my specialists are very scattered and very many.

Because of the multitude of medications I take I am no longer able drive and living about 15 miles from town makes it difficult for me to access even the most basic resources without the help of friends or family.

While our family does have private insurance I was still facing a mountain of medical debt (and will continue to be with another upcoming brain surgery) I was referred to our local Department of Human Services through their Medicaid office to the Center for Independence.  I was immediately in touch with them and began the tedious process of applying for SSI/SSDI.  While I know the system well due to my professional history I was unable to navigate that system alone.  I have been working with Tobie Thurman from the Salida office and she has provided not only guidance through the application process but also transportation as needed for various appointments as well as general activities of daily living like grocery shopping.

I do not write this letter simply to promote Tobie, however, it is to promote the program as a whole.  I am well educated and experienced professionally and I can say I would not have been able to jump through these hoops without the help of the local Center for Independence.  Thank you very much for taking the time to read this email.

Robin Henson, MSW

The Center for Independence would like to thank our partner agencies and supporters who help make this work possible on the Western Slope.