Homeless Gear Newsletter, March 28, 2017

Check out our most-recent newsletter here: http://conta.cc/2mKaVlE

Homeless Gear Seeks Sponsors for Fundraising Events

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Homeless Gear Seeks Sponsors for Three Fundraising Events: Toast to Transitions, Murphy Center Community Dinner and Mission to Hope Walk

Fort Collins, Colorado, March 15, 2017

Homeless Gear today unveiled its 2017 event-sponsorship packet, providing donors—for the first time—with the opportunity to purchase combined sponsorships for three Homeless Gear and Murphy Center events.

Sponsorships are available for Homeless Gear’s annual fundraiser, Toast to Transitions; the Murphy Center’s annual Community Dinner; and the Mission to Hope Walk.

For more information, please visit the following link: http://homelessgear.com/website/wp-content/uploads/2017-HG-MC-Sponsorship-Packet.pdf

Homeless Gear Serves 75 Families at Children in Need Event

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Homeless Gear Serves 75 Families, 229 Children at Quarterly Event—11 Agencies Join Event to Provide Wide Range of Services

Fort Collins, Colorado, February 25, 2017:

Homeless Gear served 75 families and 229 children at its quarterly Children in Need service event today, a dip from last year’s totals but roughly on par with prior years. Eleven agencies joined Homeless Gear at the event—held at and in partnership with the Matthews House Community Life Center—to provide haircuts, distribute children’s books, share health and resource information, obtain legal advice and more.

Families received more than 400 coats and sweatshirts, 190 pairs of footwear and thousands of units of clothing, hygiene items, underwear, socks and more.

More than 100 volunteers participated in the event, serving as “personal shoppers” for every attending family.

ABOUT CHILDREN IN NEED

The Children in Need program infuses a sense of normalcy, self-worth and optimism into the lives of children who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Homeless Gear launched the program in 2009 after several PSD employees reported a significant need for supplies and other services among local families facing homelessness.

Today, the program revolves largely around quarterly service events for children and families. Homeless Gear distributes supplies and other agencies/programs attend to provide a wide range of services: haircuts, health screenings, service referrals and more. The program has served more than 1,000 families since inception.

Visit www.HomelessGear.org/children-in-need to learn more.

Dedicated Navigator Program Helps 312 Households Gain Approval for More than $1.6 Million in Annual Benefits

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Dedicated Navigator Program Helps Record 312 Households Complete 564 Applications for Benefits, Gain Approval for More than $1.6 Million in Annual Assistance during 2016

Fort Collins, Colorado, February 1, 2017

Homeless Gear’s Dedicated Navigator program helped 312 individuals/households complete 564 government-assistance applications—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Old Age Pension (OAP), Medicaid and Aid for the Needy and Disabled (AND)—and gain approval for $1.67 million in annual benefits in 2016. Each of those totals represents a programmatic record.

Last year marked the first full year in which the program, through a partnership with Larimer County Department of Human Services (DHS), obtained data on both the number of benefits’ applications that gained approval and the dollar-value attached to those approvals. The $1.67 million total represents the potential annual benefit to program participants, based on the dollar-values of the applications that received approval.

“This data is exciting, of course, because it tells us that the people we serve are accessing the support that they need,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director. “But it is also exciting in that it gives us a benchmark we can use to evaluate and refine the program moving forward.”

In 2016, the program helped 189 individuals/households obtain Medicaid, 151 obtain SNAP, seven obtain OAP, 7 obtain TANF and 5 obtain AND.

ABOUT THE DEDICATED NAVIGATOR PROGRAM

The Dedicated Navigator program was launched in 2010 by Sister Mary Alice Murphy and Anne Wilberton. Until the start of 2015, it was run completely by volunteers. Today, Homeless Gear—in coordination with its other programs and its operations at the Murphy Center—manages a team of approximately 15 trained volunteers; those volunteers meet with clients and help them apply for benefits under the Peak Colorado program.

For more information and to get involved, visit http://homelessgear.org/dedicated-navigators/.

Homeless Gear Introduces New Employees

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Homeless Gear Introduces Pam Brewer as Volunteer/Events Coordinator, Kate Finch as Distribution Program Manager

Fort Collins, Colorado, January 15, 2017:

Homeless Gear is proud to announce the addition of two new employees: Pam Brewer, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, and Kate Finch, Distribution Program Manager. Both positions are new to the organization.

“We are thrilled to have Pam and Kate on board,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “With the Murphy Center now operating as an initiative of Homeless Gear, and after a year of significant programmatic growth, these positions will allow us to pursue new opportunities in the months and years to come.”

Pam will oversee volunteer recruitment and management and manage the logistics of volunteer and fundraising events across the entire organization (including the Murphy Center). Kate will manage the Homeless Gear warehouse and all logistics associated with product collection and distribution (again including the Murphy Center).

The new roles will shift staff responsibilities and unlock new programmatic and fundraising opportunities for Homeless Gear’s six programs and the Murphy Center initiative.

Pam is a long-time Homeless Gear volunteer and served until recently as the Title One Site Coordinator in the Language, Culture and Equity Department at the Poudre School District. Kate is a Navy veteran who completed an undergraduate social-work internship with Homeless Gear in 2016.

Looking Back on 2016

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Homeless Gear Releases 2016 Year-in-Review, Reports Improved Outcomes across Programs

Fort Collins, Colorado, January 15, 2017:

Homeless Gear released its 2016 year-in-review on Friday, reporting improvements in outcomes across its continuum of programs.

The year-in-review newsletter can be found here: http://conta.cc/2j870vW. The year-in-review document can be found here: http://homelessgear.com/website/wp-content/uploads/2016-Year-End-Review.pdf

Homeless Gear Assumes Responsibility for Murphy Center Initiative

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After 13 Months as Managing Partner, Homeless Gear Assumes Full Management-and-Financial Responsibility for Murphy Center—Murphy Center Becomes “Initiative” of Homeless Gear

Fort Collins, Colorado, January 1, 2017:

Homeless Gear announced today that it has assumed full financial-and-management responsibility for the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope (Murphy Center), a shift that will streamline back-end processes and provide the Murphy Center Initiative with an official home under the Homeless Gear.

Homeless Gear became the Managing Partner of the Murphy Center in December 2015 (overseeing day-to-day operations), but United Way of Larimer County served as fiscal agent for the building in 2016. Under that structure, Homeless Gear managed all Murphy Center employees, but those employees worked officially for United Way. United Way managed HR, payroll and all financial transactions.

The new model designates those functions to Homeless Gear.

“We assumed the Managing Partner role in 2015 alongside a broad community collaborative, and United Way was an important piece of that collaborative. They absorbed significant risk, managed back-end processes and allowed us to focus on the Murphy Center itself,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “We are forever grateful for their support, but also confident that this new direction will streamline our administrative and fundraising efforts.”  

The change will not disrupt guest services or building operations.

During its first full year under Homeless Gear’s management, the Murphy Center saw a roughly 17-percent increase in client, or guest, interactions. Multiple programs, including Homeless Gear’s Hand Up employment program, reported improved outcomes.

ABOUT THE MURPHY CENTER

Named in honor of Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a Larimer County pioneer of service to neighbors in need, the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope celebrates compassionate action and serves as a resource center for families and individuals who face homelessness. The Murphy Center opened in 2009 and has proven to be a model for community collaboration and an essential resource in Larimer County. More information is available at www.murphycenter.org.

Homeless Gear Raises $45,000 in December, Exceeding Goal by 50 Percent

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Homeless Gear Raises $45,000 through Fifth-Annual Virtual Fundraiser, Including $20,000 on Colorado Gives Day

Fort Collins, Colorado, December 31, 2016

Homeless Gear raised more than $45,000 during its December-long virtual fundraiser, $31k in 31 Days, including a record $20,000 on Colorado Gives Day.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to Homeless Gear during our fifth-annual virtual fundraiser,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “This total–among our best months ever–will catapult us into the new year, ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

To learn more about the campaign and/or to donate, visit www.HomelessGear.org/donate.

Street Outreach Program Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

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Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach Program Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary—All-Volunteer Team Has Never Missed a Shift

Fort Collins, Colorado, December 1, 2016

Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach program today celebrated its five-year anniversary, recording its 780th -consecutive Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday evening shift. The team has never missed a shift. 

Homeless Gear launched the program on December 1, 2016 in response to requests from community leaders and after an extensive review of similar programs elsewhere. Ken John, Homeless Gear’s Founder, and Rick Weaver, Homeless Gear’s former Program Director, participated in the first shift. Since then, the program has served both as a lifeline and a mobile entry point into the system of service provision for thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness.

“There is simply no way to replicate the value of meeting people where they are, physically and emotionally,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “For five years, our volunteers have built relationships with thousands of individuals and, in many cases, connected those individuals with services that helped them escape homelessness.”

The program records about 40 interactions per night, but that number can rise to as high as 100, depending on weather and other factors.

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.

Homeless Gear Launches Fifth-Annual December Fundraiser

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Homeless Gear Launches Fifth-Annual Virtual Fundraiser, Seeks to Raise $31k in Month-Long Campaign

Fort Collins, Colorado, December 1, 2016

Homeless Gear today launched its fifth-annual virtual fundraiser, $31k in 31 Days, seeking to raise $31,000 during the month of December.

The fundraiser comes on the heels of Homeless Gear’s most-productive programmatic year to-date. Through November, the organization helped 10 families, including 20 children, escape homelessness (with a 100 percent housing-retention rate), recorded 6,500 interactions with individuals on the streets of Fort Collins, helped individuals and families access more than $1 million in annual benefits, served 500 families at quarterly service events and helped secure 183 jobs for program participants.

“Every year, we are amazed by the outpouring of support,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “This campaign will—as it has in years’ past—catapult us into the New Year with a healthy financial outlook. Ultimately, that means more and better services for the people who need them most.”

To learn more about the campaign and/or to donate, visit www.HomelessGear.org/donate.

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