Homeless Gear Hosts Annual Fundraiser, Releases New Programmatic Video

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More than 250 Supporters Attend Sixth-Annual Fundraiser, Toast to Transitions, as Homeless Gear Releases Newest Promotional Video

Fort Collins, Colorado, June 10, 2016

Homeless Gear held its sixth-annual fundraiser, Toast to Transitions, at the Preserve at Bingham Hill on June 9th, raising funds and awareness, celebrating with supporters and unveiling its newest promotional video.

More than 250 supporters attended the annual event, Homeless Gear’s only live fundraiser of the year.

The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qewRVh1wZg

“We simply cannot overstate how grateful we are to Randy and Sheryl Pope, who host us each year at no cost, the 23 sponsors who contributed to the event beforehand, the 250-plus individuals who attended and the countless individuals who make possible this event,” said David Rout, Homeless Gear’s Executive Director.

Toast to Transitions, known formerly as Cheers to Careers, began in 2011 as the annual fundraiser for Hand Up Cooperative. After Hand Up Cooperative and Homeless Gear merged in 2012, the event was renamed and relocated from New Belgium Brewing Company to the Preserve at Bingham Hill.

Local Schools Raise More Than $11,000 for Homeless Gear through Coins for Change Program

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Homeless Gear’s Caps Second Year of Coins for Change—Six Local Schools Raise Awareness and Collect Over $11,000—OtterCares Foundation to Match Part of Proceeds

Fort Collins, Colorado, May 24, 2016:

Six local elementary, middle and high schools raised more than $11,000 in loose change for Homeless Gear during the 2015/2016 school year, part of a fundraising-and-awareness-building campaign—Coins for Change—that Homeless Gear launched last year.

The one-month program—organized around a newly-developed, proprietary curriculum—provides local students with opportunities to learn about homelessness and volunteer with and raise funds for Homeless Gear. Preston Middle School, Shepardson Elementary, Fort Collins High School, Kinard Middle School, Webber Middle School and Olander Elementary participated in the program in varying months throughout the schoolyear.

OtterCares Foundation matched up to $1,500 per school.

“While we are obviously blown away by and thankful for the funds, Coins for Change is about much more than the money,” said Chelsey Mandell, Homeless Gear’s Development Director. “Students took the program to another level—they created awareness-building videos about homelessness, sold products to collect additional change, held schoolwide assemblies… and just inspired us with their enthusiasm.”

Homeless Gear hopes to increase participation to eight schools during the 2016/2017 schoolyear.

Colorado Musicians Release Music Video to Bring Awareness to Homelessness in Larimer County

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  • Ken John, Murphy Center Resource & Marketing Director
  • Phone: 970-581-4921
  • Email: ken@homelessgear.org

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Colorado Musicians, “The Good Time Travelers,” Release Music Video to Bring Awareness to Homelessness in Larimer County—Song Gifted for Video to Murphy Center

Fort Collins, Colorado, May 19, 2016:

Colorado musicians, Michael Kirkpatrick and Pete Kartsounes of ‘The Good Time Travelers’, announced today the release of a new music video for their song, ‘Here For You’. The music video, produced by Jamie Crawford of ‘Crawford Video’, was created to bring awareness to homelessness in Larimer County and to support the work of the ‘Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope’ in Fort Collins.

“Music inspires us, causes us to think, generates emotion, raises awareness and in some cases motivates us to take action and make a difference,” said Ken John, Murphy Center Resource & Marketing Director. “Many thanks to ‘The Good Time Travelers’ for lending the power of their music for a call to action to help the most vulnerable in our community.”

The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope is a collaborative of agencies that assist people who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless in Larimer County. The Murphy Center operates over 30 services under one roof with a goal to make homelessness rare, short-lived and non-recurring.

“It is a huge honor to have our song, ‘Here For You’, selected for a project to support The Sister Alice Murphy Center For Hope,” Pete Kartsounes, Member of The Good Time Travelers. “Music is one of the great healers and with its universal language has the ability to make positive change around the globe; one note, one lyric, and one song at a time. Thank you for involving us in this process.”

Michael Kirkpatrick (of Fort Collins) and Pete Kartsounes (originally from Boulder, living in Portland) make up the acoustic song-writing duo ‘The Good Time Travelers’. In 2014, Michael Kirkpatrick won the prestigious Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Competition and Pete Kartsounes was awarded honorable first-runner-up in both 2011 and 2013 for the same competition. Pete and Michael began writing songs together during the summer of 2014 and ‘The Good Time Travelers’ debut album is now available online at www.thegoodtimetravelers.com.

“The first time I heard Pete and Michael play together, it was like magic. I fell in love with their music, so it was a privilege to work with their music while telling real stories of people experiencing homelessness,” said Jamie Crawford, Owner of Crawford Video.

“My goal with taking on this project is to inspire people to look at homelessness with more compassion and help in whatever capacity they can. Everyone has a story and I am honored to have had the opportunity to tell the stories of these three special people.”

Note: Media outlets have full permission to distribute the video at this link through their outlets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yDJT4QHxH8   

Homeless Gear Records 25,000th Street Outreach Interaction

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Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach Team Records 25,000th Interaction—Program Has Served Thousands of Individuals Since Inception 

Fort Collins, Colorado, April 10, 2016:

Homeless Gear’s Street Outreach team recorded its 25,000th interaction in March 2016 and, in the same month, notched its 650th consecutive Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday evening shift. The team has not missed a shift since the program was launched at the end of 2011.

“These milestones are a testament to the hundred-plus volunteers who, over the course of more than four years, have dedicated thousands of hours—at night, in all weather—to people experiencing homelessness,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director.

The Street Outreach program is the only one of its kind in Fort Collins. It was launched in late-2011 as part of the community’s plan to make homelessness rare, short-lived and non-recurring. The program serves both as a lifeline to people on the streets and a primary point-of-entry for individuals and families into the system of social services.

During a recent Street Outreach shift, a volunteer observed:

“Just a heart-wrenching night to be out. We don’t see as many people on rainy nights like these, but the people we do see are—more often than not—in impossible situations… Cold, wet and looking for places to get warm and dry.

The first man we saw just needed a tarp — something to cover himself for the night… Then a man shivering without a coat in front of a convenience store… Then a young couple in a car, just looking for a bite to eat. In spite of the weather, virtually everyone we have seen has been kind and thankful — even good-spirited. One young man laughed as he struggled to put on his rain poncho (those things can be tricky); another man came out of his car just to say hello. Home has a different meaning on nights like these. We should all be grateful for what we have. So many aren’t so lucky.”

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.

Hand Up Participants Secure 44 Jobs in First Quarter

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Hand Up Participants Secure Record 44 Jobs in First Quarter of 2016, Marking 20 Percent Year-Over-Year Improvement—Referrals on the Rise Under New Murphy Center Collaborative

Fort Collins, Colorado, April 1, 2016:

Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program helped participants secure 44 jobs in the first quarter of 2016, marking a seven-job (20 percent) increase over the same period in 2015 and the highest three-month total in the program’s history. The jump was at least partly attributable to the new-and-streamlined intake-and-referral process at the Murphy Center for Hope—a process implemented in late-2015 when Homeless Gear became Managing Partner of the building.

“The new referral system at the Murphy Center has translated into real results for the Hand Up program,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director. “We are seeing more guests than ever, and the guests we do see are better-informed of other services than ever before—that has allowed us to focus on what we do best.”

The Hand Up program recorded 247 guest interactions during the three-month period. Of the 44 jobs secured, eight were with Hand Up business partners. Some 31 jobs were part-time (13 part-time), and the average wage was $11 per hour. Hand Up participants accessed the Career Closet—a room filled with job-related clothing and gear—44 times.

ABOUT HAND UP

Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program empowers job-seekers who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless to find and maintain employment. The program was launched in 2008 by Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a longtime advocate for people who are homeless, and Andy Troccoli, an employee of New Belgium Brewing Company. The program operated as an independent nonprofit until it merged with Homeless Gear in late 2012.

For more information, visit www.HomelessGear.org/Hand-Up.

Murphy Center Newsletter, March 22, 2016

Check out the Murphy Center’s most-recent newsletter: http://conta.cc/1UeyFbC.

Homeless Gear Newsletter, March 10, 2016

Check out our most-recent newsletter here: http://conta.cc/1SzS45a.

Happy Birthday Murphy Center!

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With Homeless Gear in Management Role, Murphy Center Celebrates Seventh Birthday—Building Has Seen Increased Traffic, Improved Outcomes in Homeless Gear’s First Months as Manager

Fort Collins, Colorado, March 4, 2016:

The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope (Murphy Center) celebrated its seventh birthday today, about three months after Homeless Gear—alongside a broad community collaborative—assumed the role of Managing Partner of the building.

Since the management shift, the Murphy Center has seen an increase in client (guest) traffic of about 16 percent, and Homeless Gear’s programs have produced significantly-improved results. The Hand Up program, for example, helped secure 40 jobs for program participants in December, January and February—a 54 percent improvement over the prior three months.

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.

In One-Day Event, Homeless Gear Distributes More than $300,000 Worth of Gear to 22 Agencies across Colorado

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Homeless Gear Ships $330,000 Worth of Life-Saving Gear to More than 22 Agencies across Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado, February 23, 2016:

Homeless Gear today distributed $330,000 worth of life-saving gear—temporary shelters, sleeping pads, coats, footwear, clothing and more—to 22 agencies from Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Greeley, Aurora and Denver, after a large gear supplier anonymously donated years-worth of overstocked product.

The product was delivered via trucks to the property of a long-time Homeless Gear volunteer, and Homeless Gear invited agencies from across the state to collect the supplies. Some 22 agencies responded, and those agencies will distribute the gear to the individuals and families whom they serve. Homeless Gear kept a small amount of product to distribute to its clients in Fort Collins.

“Homeless Gear has always collected gear both for the people we serve directly in Larimer County and the agencies that serve others across the state,” said David Rout Homeless Gear’s Executive Director. “Today was an encapsulation of that work, and we hope these supplies will both save lives and help other agencies focus on the programs that are core to their missions.”

Since 2008, Homeless Gear has recorded more than 1,900 shipments of product to over 100 agencies that serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness throughout Colorado.

Although the donor wishes to remain anonymous, Homeless Gear wishes to express its sincere gratitude.

ABOUT DISTRIBUTION

Homeless Gear’s Distribution program was launched in 2008. Its mission is to provide people experiencing homelessness with the supplies that they need to survive and meet their basic needs. Homeless Gear distributes product directly to people-in-need and to other agencies that serve people who are homeless.

For more information, visit http://www.HomelessGear.org/Distribution.

Homeless Gear Serves 135 Families at Children in Need Event

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Homeless Gear Serves 135 Families, 370 Children at Quarterly Event—12 Agencies Join Event to Provide Wide Range of Services

Fort Collins, Colorado, February 20, 2016:

Homeless Gear served 135 families and 370 children at its quarterly Children in Need event, the highest number of families served at a February event. Twelve agencies joined Homeless Gear at the event—held at and in partnership with the Matthews House Community Life Center—to provide eye exams, haircuts, health information, resource referrals and more.

Families received more than 500 coats and sweatshirts, 130 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.

“Today was a clear example of what our community can do when we come together behind a common cause,” said Linda Nuss, Homeless Gear’s Program Director. “Thanks to our volunteers and agency partners, 135 families received much-needed supplies, got haircuts and eye exams, learned about community resources, and more.”

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.

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