Making A Difference

Are We Making A Difference???

“Homelessness and poverty are widespread and growing problems in Colorado. Every day, thousands of men, women and children wake up in homeless shelters or in homes they can barely afford, struggle to put food on the table and fight tooth-and-nail to make ends meet. Challenging economic conditions have only raised the stakes: if we are going to solve our problems, we must invest our resources wisely. As a result, we need organizations that address the issues with both an eye on the data and the real-world experience to know what works. Homeless Gear is one of those organizations. Its family of programs provides thousands of homeless individuals with a clear path from homelessness to self-sufficiency – supplies that help them make it through the night and support that helps them find jobs and stability to get back on their feet.”

             – Joann Ginal, State Representative – District 52

“Homeless Gear is a data-driven, best-practice organization that is crucial to our community’s Ten Year Plan [to make homelessness rare, short-lived and non-recurring.] Its family of programs provides a continuum of services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness: everything from basic-needs support to long-term case management and housing assistance.”

             – Vanessa Fenley, Director, Homeward 2020

“I will never forget what Homeless Gear did for me and my family… It is thanks to your help and all your resources that I was able to prepare myself for a stable and secure job. It was also thanks to Homeless Gear and their awesome team that helped me get into housing… I will do my best to stay in contact with Homeless Gear and come and volunteer for the organizations that never let me down and got me back on my feet.”

             – Kim, 2015

With the help and support of our many volunteers, corporate sponsors, churches, schools, scouts, civic organizations, businesses and community here are some of the ways in which we have made a difference in the lives of homeless men, women, youth, children, and families throughout Colorado.

Since Founding HG on May 1st 2008 we have:

  • Distributed over $5.7 million worth of outdoor gear, outdoor basic clothing, non perishable food, and hygiene items
  • Distributed more than 118,000 “Big 8” gear items (sleeping bags, sleeping bag pads, tents/tarps, backpacks, day packs, blankets, coats, & shoes/boots).
  • Distributed over 120,000 non perishable take-away meals
  • Served 1,018 unduplicated homeless families and an estimated 2,900 children through our Children In Need program
  • Recorded 1,765 shipments of supplies to more than 50 agencies that serve individuals and families who are homeless across the state
  • Recorded more than 21,000 total interactions with over 2,000 unduplicated individuals through our Street Outreach program
  • Helped complete more than 1,500 benefits applications for clients in Dedicated Navigator program
  • Helped secure 496 full-time and part-time jobs for job seekers in our Hand Up program
  • Formed partnerships with 21 businesses that have hired–or expressed a willingness to hire–participants from the program
  • Helped five families secure stable housing through One Village One Family program
  • Participated in establishing a Permanent Day Shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Fort Collins
  • Participated in establishing and furnishing supplies for an Emergency Overflow Night Shelter in Fort Collins
  • Received Group Publishing’s Larimer County Award in recognition for outstanding service to community
  • Received statewide “Outstanding Nonprofit Organization” award by the Governor’s Commission on Community Service

In 2014, we:

  • Distributed $1.1 million worth of supplies, including 26,687 “Big 8” items
  • Made 362 shipments to facilities that serve the homeless and near-homeless population throughout the state
  • Helped secure 124 full- and part-time jobs for homeless and near-homeless individuals through the “Employment” track of our Hand Up program
  • Recorded 7,069 interactions with homeless individuals through our Street Outreach program
  • Distributed 47,136 non-perishable meals
  • Helped plan and participated in first-ever summer “Point-in-Time” count (census of the local homeless population); planned and participated in annual winter “Point-in-Time” count
  • Launched the “One Village One Family” program; helped first family escape homelessness
  • Participated in annual Project Homeless Connect event
  • Helped plan and participated in annual Veterans Stand Down event
  • Co-organized, co-hosted and staffed annual warming center on Christmas Eve and Christmas

In 2013 we:

  • Distributed $1,007,030 worth of supplies, including 24,399 “Big 8” items
  • Made 319 shipments to facilities that serve the homeless and near-homeless population throughout the state
  • Helped five Partners escape homelessness through the “Transitions” track of our Hand Up program
  • Helped secure 116 full- and part-time jobs for homeless and near-homeless individuals through the “Employment” track of our Hand Up program
  • Recorded 6,000 interactions with homeless individuals through our Night Street Outreach program
  • Received and began using a cargo vehicle (fully-equipped with shelves, stocked with supplies and adorned with the HG logo) in our Night Street Outreach program
  • Distributed 30,276 non-perishable takeaway meals, surpassing our total from all of 2012
  • Participated in flood relief efforts, delivering supplies to and from an emergency shelter for flood victims in northern Colorado.

In 2012 we:

  • Launched a Night Street Outreach program in Fort Collins to provide companionship, emergency services and warming supplies, food, and which guides homeless individuals to the many facilities and agencies that are in place to help them re-gain their self sufficiency.  Through that program we have worked with 1,000 unduplicated individuals and made over 4,000 total contacts.
  • Distributed 14,357 non-perishable takeaway meals
  • Distributed over 1,000 pounds of non perishable food at each of our quarterly Children In Need distributions
  • Merged with Hand Up Cooperative; Hand Up, now a program of Homeless Gear, helps homeless and near-homeless individuals find and maintain employment, connect to and navigate resources, escape homelessness and regain self-sufficiency
  • Helped secure 66 full- and part-time jobs for homeless and near-homeless individuals.
  • Launched the Transition Advocacy Program in an effort to provide intensive and personal assistance to homeless individuals and families (to help them navigate their way through homelessness and back to self-sufficiency)
  • Worked with 1,132 volunteers who, combined, contributed an estimated 7,445 hours to Homeless Gear (that hour total is worth more than $160,000, according to an estimate of the dollar-value of volunteer service)

In 2011 we:

  • Recorded 4,163 transactions of clothing, gear, and hygiene items in our Fort Collins gear room, clothing bank, and monthly adult homeless distributions.
  • Launched a Non-Perishable Food program which provided take-away breakfast sack meals for every guest of the Fort Collins emergency overflow night shelter.
  • Facilitated a Children’s book drive/distribution, Thanksgiving dinner for homeless families, and Christmas family portraits with Santa.
  • Distributed over 8,000 pounds of pet food through our partnership with PUP (Prevent Unwanted Pets).
  • Were honored for meritorious service to homeless persons in our community by the Fort Collins Interfaith Council.