SINCE 1982

Thousands poured into our region to find work during the oil shale industry boom. Many were living in cars and under bridges while they looked for jobs. Local churches, businesses and concerned citizens joined together to start LIFT-UP, which stands for Life Interfaith Team on Unemployment and Poverty. 


People came from all over to work in the oil shale business. Rifle’s population doubled nearly overnight, jumping from 2,700 to around 4,500 people. There were thousands of workers in town. When the oil shale industry collapsed in May of 1982, people found themselves out of work, with no way to feed their families. That day will always be remembered as Black Sunday in Rifle Colorado. It was the day Exxon locked the gates and more than 2,000 people were suddenly unemployed. The Colony oil shale project came to a sudden and dramatic halt. The banks began to have problems, people left town immediately, and local U-Haul businesses instantly became the busiest place in the United States.


Fortunately LIFT-UP was in place, and the community had a way to respond to help the people in need.



While the economy has changed over the years, the needs have continued, and LIFT-UP has remained a reliable channel of assistance for our communities, serving thousands of people each year in need of assistance during times of temporary and long term hardship.



LIFT-UP has been blessed by the generosity and dedication o people, churches, businesses and community organizations who've supported the organization since 1982. The outpouring of help given by devoted teams of volunteers set the precedent that continues to this day.  Our volunteers selflessly give their time and energy to assist the people who turn to us for help.