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Monthly Archive for: ‘April, 2016’

Homeless Gear Records 25,000th Street Outreach Interaction

PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact:

For Immediate Release:

Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach Team Records 25,000th Interaction—Program Has Served Thousands of Individuals Since Inception 

Fort Collins, Colorado, April 10, 2016:

Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach team recorded its 25,000th interaction in March 2016 and, in the same month, notched its 650th consecutive Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday evening shift. The team has not missed a shift since the program was launched at the end of 2011.

“These milestones are a testament to the hundred-plus volunteers who, over the course of more than four years, have dedicated thousands of hours—at night, in all weather—to people experiencing homelessness,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director.

The Street Outreach program is the only one of its kind in Fort Collins. It was launched in late-2011 as part of the community’s plan to make homelessness rare, short-lived and non-recurring. The program serves both as a lifeline to people on the streets and a primary point-of-entry for individuals and families into the system of social services.

During a recent Street Outreach shift, a volunteer observed:

“Just a heart-wrenching night to be out. We don’t see as many people on rainy nights like these, but the people we do see are—more often than not—in impossible situations… Cold, wet and looking for places to get warm and dry.

The first man we saw just needed a tarp — something to cover himself for the night… Then a man shivering without a coat in front of a convenience store… Then a young couple in a car, just looking for a bite to eat. In spite of the weather, virtually everyone we have seen has been kind and thankful — even good-spirited. One young man laughed as he struggled to put on his rain poncho (those things can be tricky); another man came out of his car just to say hello. Home has a different meaning on nights like these. We should all be grateful for what we have. So many aren’t so lucky.”

ABOUT STREET OUTREACH

Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach program sends paired volunteers onto the streets of Fort Collins three nights per week—Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday—to deliver life-sustaining supplies and referrals to people experiencing homelessness.

For more information and to get involved, visit www.HomelessGear.org/Street-Outreach.

Hand Up Participants Secure 44 Jobs in First Quarter

PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact:

For Immediate Release:  

Hand Up Participants Secure Record 44 Jobs in First Quarter of 2016, Marking 20 Percent Year-Over-Year Improvement—Referrals on the Rise Under New Murphy Center Collaborative

Fort Collins, Colorado, April 1, 2016:

Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program helped participants secure 44 jobs in the first quarter of 2016, marking a seven-job (20 percent) increase over the same period in 2015 and the highest three-month total in the program’s history. The jump was at least partly attributable to the new-and-streamlined intake-and-referral process at the Murphy Center for Hope—a process implemented in late-2015 when Homeless Gear became Managing Partner of the building.

“The new referral system at the Murphy Center has translated into real results for the Hand Up program,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director. “We are seeing more guests than ever, and the guests we do see are better-informed of other services than ever before—that has allowed us to focus on what we do best.”

The Hand Up program recorded 247 guest interactions during the three-month period. Of the 44 jobs secured, eight were with Hand Up business partners. Some 31 jobs were part-time (13 part-time), and the average wage was $11 per hour. Hand Up participants accessed the Career Closet—a room filled with job-related clothing and gear—44 times.

ABOUT HAND UP

Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program empowers job-seekers who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless to find and maintain employment. The program was launched in 2008 by Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a longtime advocate for people who are homeless, and Andy Troccoli, an employee of New Belgium Brewing Company. The program operated as an independent nonprofit until it merged with Homeless Gear in late 2012.

For more information, visit www.HomelessGear.org/Hand-Up.