“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
Program Start (Dec 2009)
To Date: 650 Unduplicated Families & 2,931 Children Served
Over 60% of our homeless are families. There was a cumulative total of 1,021 students identified as being homeless in the Poudre School District during the school year 2010-2011. Who is considered homeless?
- Students lacking a fixed regular and adequate residence
- Families staying in shelters
- Families or individuals living in a campground, park or vehicle because they have no permanent housing
- Families doubled-up with friends or other families due to economic reasons
- Runaway or abandoned youth living on the streets or in abandoned building, without adult supervision or temporarily staying with friends
- School-aged mothers or pregnant girls staying with friends or in a home for teenage mothers
The McKinney-Vento Program ensures homeless students have the support they need to stay in school. Homeless Gear works with the McKinney Liaisons from each school to identify the needs of these students and to furnish them with items that we collect (see gear needs page).
The focus of our Children in Need program is to provide homeless and near homeless children basic clothing, hygiene items, and other essentials. Our goal is to provide these children with basic necessities to ensure that they are protected from the elements, able to meet basic health and hygiene needs, allow them to actively participate in school and simply to help bolster their self esteem and provide as much normalcy in their lives as possible.
Making A Difference
With your help we are making a difference. Your donations and support have made stories like the following possible. See below for a complete list of items we collect and distribute to children and families in need.
“Thumbs Up to Homeless Gear for helping supply outdoor gear, shoes, bags, and bedding to the McKinney Program students at Putnam Elementary School of Science, Irish Elementary and Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology. Thank you, Ken John, for collecting and setting aside items especially for our young students. Many of these items will help our students have a save and memorable time at Eco-Week.”
Deb Gillan, Putnam Elementary School of Science; Heidi Hood, Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology; and Natasha Dueno, Irish Elementary
“I work with a family who is currently staying at one of the Fort Collins Homeless Shelters. The Mom said all of the children in the family were in need of coats and jackets, so I checked to see what size and color they might prefer. Each child had their favorites. I told them I would see what I could come up with. Thanks to Homeless Gear, I was able to provide all of the children with jackets/coats (in the sizes and colors requested). Upon receiving a coat, one of the children came bounding down the hall with a bold smile and gave me a big hug and “thanks”.
These special moments make my work and your work so very worthwhile. Just thought that might encourage you and your team to keep doing your thing!”
Laurel Elementary School of Arts & Technology
Items We Collect and Distribute:
We are very appreciative that you might have general clothing items, toys, and other children’s products that you might want to donate to CIN. Unfortunately we are not able to accept these items. We are trying to focus our program on the critical & basic items of need that seem to be in short supply for the homeless and near homeless children and families that we serve. Items may be dropped off at the Murphy Center 242 Conifer Street, Fort Collins, CO M-F from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Thanks for your kindness, compassion, and generosity!
Just For Baby:
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Dental Products
Clothing (School Aged Children):
- Coats (winter)
- Snow Pants or Ski Bibs
- Jackets (spring or summer)
- Rain Jackets, Rain Pants & Rain Ponchos
- Sweatshirts with Hoods (Hoodies)
- Hats, Scarves, Gloves
- Boots (snow and hiking)
- Tennis Shoes
- Socks (New only please on summer socks and “reasonably used” is OK on winter socks)
- Underwear (New)
- Children’s Sleeping Bags
- Bath Towels & Washcloths
- Insect Repellant & Sunscreen
- First Aid Kits and Supplies
Our Children in Need program proudly supports these great organizations by furnishing them items that we collect so that they can distribute those items to the homeless and near homeless that they serve.
Catholic Charities Mission
McKinney Program PSD
Laurel Elementary School
Olander Elementary School
Irish Elementary School
Putnam Elementary School
Eyestone Elementary School
Tavelli Elementary School
Harris Elementary School
Dunn Elementary School
O’Dea Elementary School
Moore Elementary School
Outreach Mentors PSD
Murphy Center for Hope
Tara Chastain FC Housing
Realities For Children
Center For Family Outreach
Greeley Evans School District #6
House of Neighborly Service
The Gathering Place
Clothes To Kids of Denver, Inc.
Kids Helping Kids!
Skylar H. is a 4th grader at one of our local Elementary Schools. She donated a box of hygiene items to HG that we assumed she had collected from her neighborhood or something like that. Turns out she asked for these items for her birthday so she could help people in need. How incredible is that?
Luke, a second grader, wanted to help Children In Need so he walked his neighborhood and collected items like coats, gloves, boots, hoodies, sweaters, hats and other cold weather gear!! We want to thank Luke for his energy and compassion to help others!
Thank You Cards
Recently we helped Dunn Elementary prepare some of their kids in need for Eco Week with some rain jackets. The thank you notes below are from those kids.