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

“In the eight years I have been working with the homeless in Fort Collins, I have unfortunately seen members of the homeless community die of exposure each year and numerous others suffer from frost bite that ultimately lead to loss of fingers, toes, feet, and even legs.  Homeless Gear enables us to make sure that the people we work with everyday have at least the bare essentials to stay alive. While I have no way of knowing exactly how many lives have been saved by Homeless Gear, I have no doubt that their efforts have spared countless people the suffering of frostbite and potentially death.”

             – Zachary Penland, B.A., Program Supervisor, The Murphy Center

“The clothes and shoes make such a difference to me because [with them] I feel confident in a judging society. Coming to the gear giveaway today reminded me of the importance of self-confidence. This is always an experience full of lasting joy for me. Thank you for helping me and everyone else. Appreciation, gratefulness and joy. Blessings.”

             – Guest, January 2013 Supply Distribution

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 $4.8 million worth of outdoor gear, outdoor basic clothing, non perishable food, and hygiene items
  • Distributed more than 96,000 “Big 8″ gear items (sleeping bags, sleeping bag pads, tents/tarps, backpacks, day packs, blankets, coats, & shoes/boots).
  • Distributed over 86,000 non perishable take-away meals
  • Served 681 unduplicated homeless families and an estimated 2,200 children through our Children In Need program
  • Provided 1,492 shipments of product to support over 50 homeless facilities and agencies throughout Colorado
  • Recorded more than 16,000 total interactions with over 2,200 unduplicated individuals through our Street Outreach program
  • Helped secure 406 full-time and part-time jobs for homeless and near-homeless program participants
  • Participated in establishing a Permanent Day Shelter for the homeless of Fort Collins
  • Participated in establishing and furnishing supplies for an Emergency Overflow Night Shelter in Fort Collins
  • Provided work clothes and footwear to help the homeless secure employment
  • Received the Larimer County Award in recognition for outstanding service to improve community left in Northern Colorado by Group Publishing

During the first ten months of 2014, we:

  • Distributed $873,090 worth of supplies, including 21,013 “Big 8″ items
  • Made 290 shipments to facilities that serve the homeless and near-homeless population throughout the state
  • Helped secure 110 full- and part-time jobs for homeless and near-homeless individuals through the “Employment” track of our Hand Up program
  • Recorded 6,342 interactions with homeless individuals through our Street Outreach program
  • Distributed 40,040 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
  • Participated in annual Project Homeless Connect event
  • Helped plan and participated in annual Veterans Stand Down event

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.