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For Immediate Release:
Dedicated Navigator Program Joins Homeless Gear’s Family of Programs – Program Helps Homeless and Low-Income Individuals, Families Apply for Benefits
Fort Collins, Colorado, May 18, 2015: Homeless Gear is pleased to announce that the Dedicated Navigator program—a locally-run and volunteer-driven program that helps homeless and low-income individuals and families apply for benefits—has joined its family of programs.
The program, launched by Sister Mary Alice Murphy and Anne Wilberton in 2011, joins a family of Homeless Gear programs (six, with the addition) that provides homeless men, women and children with a continuum of services: supplies that help them survive in the short-term, connections to resources in the interim and links to employment, housing and self-sufficiency in the long-term.
“Finally, our program has a home with Homeless Gear,” said Sister Mary Alice Murphy.
The Dedicated Navigator program was founded in recognition of the fact that benefits applications (Food Assistance, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, etc.) are complex, time-consuming and often-frustrating. Untold numbers of our most vulnerable citizens miss out on benefits—those for which they are eligible—simply because they lack the awareness, technical skills and/or ability to complete the paperwork.
“This is a much-needed, one-of-its-kind program with a track record of success,” said David Rout, Executive Director of Homeless Gear. “And, much like everything that we do, it is volunteer-driven. None of it would be possible without the profound dedication of Anne and Sister Mary Alice and their incredible team of volunteers.”
In 2011, the Dedicated Navigator program helped clients complete 201 applications in order to apply for approximately $450,000 in benefits; those numbers increased steadily over the subsequent years, reaching 400 applications and more than $1 million in benefits in 2014. The program has operated out of the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope since its inception; in recent months, it has branched out to new locations (Holy Family Church, e.g.). More locations and times will be available in future months.
If you would like to receive help from or volunteer with the program, please email Anne Wilberton at Anne@HomelessGear.org. Visit the Dedicated Navigators page of Homeless Gear’s website for more information (www.HomelessGear.org/dedicated-navigators).