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How soundly would you sleep in the cold, without a tent, sleeping bag or coat? How would you keep track of your belongings if you had to carry them with you, all of the time, in a thin, black trash bag? Escaping homelessness is hard enough without these extra burdens. It is hard enough to land a job, find a home and take care of your family. But it is even harder—maybe even impossible—to do those things while you struggle to survive.

 The Distribution program provides people with the basics: the supplies that they need to survive, move forward and thrive.

Homeless Gear helps those who endure the elements to survive not for the challenge of the mountain and the outdoors but to make it through the night.” – Sister Mary Alice Murphy

Program History

Ken and Nancy John

When Ken John sold his business and retired in 2007, he set out to help people who were homeless. An avid outdoorsman, Ken quickly realized that he had a garage full of outdoor gear that was doing nothing more than collecting dust. Ken also realized that (despite the fact that our winters are among the harshest in the nation) there were no Colorado-based organizations whose core mission was to distribute supplies to the homeless. He founded Homeless Gear in 2008 with a simple mission: collect and distribute life-sustaining supplies to people who need them most.

Homeless Gear has expanded significantly in the years since its founding, but our Distribution program still stands. In fact, it is a crucial part of a continuum of services — within and outside of Homeless Gear — that helps people escape homelessness and remain housed.

We collect and distribute outdoor gear (tents, tarps, packs, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc.), outerwear (coats, rain gear, footwear, etc.), hygiene products (deodorant, disposable razors, shampoo, etc.) and non-perishable food. Donations come from individuals, businesses, organizations, groups and. In some cases, we purchase product. 

How Do I Get Help?

We distribute products through:

  • Gear Room at the Murphy Center for Hope (242 Conifer Street in Fort Collins), open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 AM to 11 AM
  • Street Outreach
  • Shipments to 50+ organizations that serve people who are homeless across Colorado
  • Distribution Events

To learn more about how to get help, please click here

How Can I Help?

  • Donate product or launch a gear drive of your own
  • Donate money and designate your contribution to product purchases
  • Volunteer at our warehouse, helping us to sort and manage product
  • Volunteer in any of our associated programs and events: click here to find out more

For a full list of the items that we collect, please click here

Contact Information

  • Matt Goering, Product Programs Manager 
  • Phone: (970) 829-1151
  • Email: Matt@HomelessGear.org
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