Homeless Gear Family Of Programs
We operate a ‘family’ of six programs that provides a continuum (or pathway) of services to individuals and families who are homeless or — in some cases — at risk of becoming homeless: supplies that help them survive in the short-term, connections to resources in the interim and links to employment, housing and self-sufficiency in the long-term.
We collect and distribute supplies (outdoor gear, outerwear, non-perishable food, hygiene products and more to people who are homeless. We operate a Gear Room (a room filled with supplies) at the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope in Fort Collins, participate in distribution events, produce and distribute takeaway meal bags and send supplies to over 50 facilities that serve individuals and families who are homeless throughout Colorado (those organizations distribute the supplies that we send to the people they serve). Our goal is simple: to provide the people we serve with the supplies that they need to survive, regain stability and—ultimately—progress toward self-sufficiency.
Children In Need:
We provide children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with the items that they need to meet their basic needs, foster positive self-esteem and actively participate in school.
Once per quarter, we host a service event for children and families who are homeless or near-homeless. We distribute gear, clothing, food, hygiene items and more, and partner organizations join us to provide attendees with a wide range of services (haircuts, medical check-ups, eye exams, dental screenings, resource referrals, etc.). We also host monthly food-and-drink collection events at the Sam’s Club in Loveland; we distribute 100 percent of what we collect to organizations that serve families who are homeless/low-income in the Thompson School District.
We send volunteers, staff and agency partners onto the streets of Fort Collins three nights per week to build relationships and deliver life-sustaining supplies and referrals to people experiencing homelessness. We provide hope companionship to the people we serve, connect them to resources in the community, provide supplies to anyone who needs them and (when applicable) recruit individuals to visit the Murphy Center for Hope and/or participate in our Hand Up and Dedicated Navigator programs.
Dedicated Navigator Program:
The Dedicated Navigator program helps individuals and families who are homeless or low-income fill out forms and apply for benefits (Food Assistance, Medicaid, TANF, etc.) for which they may be eligible. Our goals are to (a) help individuals and families navigate the often-complex maze of benefits applications and (b) receive funds/services that help them progress toward self-sufficiency.
With an emphasis on employment, we help job-seekers who are homeless or near-homeless to gain and maintain self-sufficiency. We provide one-on-one career counseling and individualized mentorship. We also maintain partnerships with local businesses; we train and refer program participants, and business partners hire some of those whom we refer.
One Village One Family:
One Village One Family empowers families who are homeless to regain stability, secure housing and achieve self-sufficiency. Homeless Gear recruits partner groups and those groups form mentor teams—or “villages”—of 4-6 people. Each village is trained and works with a family to 1) raise funds for housing purposes (e.g. first month’s rent) and 2) provide about six months of mentoring as the family regains housing and acclimates to their community.
Murphy Center for Hope:
Homeless Gear is the Managing Partner of the Murphy Center for Hope, a resource center for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Larimer County. More than a dozen agencies, including Homeless Gear, provide a wide range of services at the building: everything from basic-needs supplies to mental health, employment counseling and housing assistance.