Street Outreach

“Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help us develop compassion and find ways out of suffering; we are determined not to avoid or close our eyes before suffering. We are committed to finding ways, including personal contact, images, and sounds, to be with those who suffer so we can understand their situation deeply and help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace and joy.” ~  Thich Nhat Hanh
 
Program Start (January 2012) to Date:
16,000+ Total Contacts with 2,200+ Unduplicated Homeless Men, Women, & Children

Homeless Gear Outreach Video
(Produced by Fort Collins City Cable 14)

Our Mission

Homeless Gear Outreach is a program providing life-sustaining supplies and support to the homeless community throughout Fort Collins, while offering connection to programs which encourage movement toward self-sufficiency.

HG helps homeless individuals find and effectively use the services they need to get back on their feet and off the streets. We provide everything from short-term, emergency aid on the streets at night to long-term support by offering companionship through the process of navigating the path to self sufficiency.

Many times homeless individuals don’t have the life skills they need to navigate the road to self-sufficiency and social service agencies don’t have the staff or budget to provide the kind of intensive oversight homeless clients frequently require.

The mission of HG is to bridge that gap and to remove the barriers that keep these individuals from moving off the streets and into stable lives with the passion of our volunteers.

The HG outreach program is also in place to serve as a liaison between the business community and the homeless to identify and try and resolve any conflicts that might arise. In a similar manner we are not part of either the Fort Collins Police Department or Rangers but will work in collaboration with both of them as a liaison with the homeless.

photo2

Homeless Gear is looking for volunteers to join its Street Outreach Team! As a member of the Street Outreach Team, you and a partner will go out in the afternoon and/or evening to deliver clothing, food, and other emergency gear to the homeless population in Fort Collins, provide homeless men, women and children with information about and access to resources in the community, and form lasting and meaningful relationships with your less-fortunate neighbors.

This is a wonderful opportunity to serve your community, interact with and offer companionship to homeless men and women, and provide basic – and potentially life-saving supplies to those who need them most. Volunteers must be 18+ and commit to at least one shift per month, approximately 3.5 hours per shift (or 2 hours for afternoon shifts). Contact David by phone at (970) 682-3193 or by email at David@HomelessGear.org.

“We had an amazing time.  I am not going to lie, I was a bit nervous at first, but it turned out to be an amazing experience.  My eyes were really opened to something I had held a stereotype for a long time.” – Street Outreach volunteer, reflecting on her first shift

Program Objectives:

  1. Develop personal relationships and trust
  2. Provide emergency products & Services
    • We will provide fist aid supplies, but not administer first aid nor provide first aid advice
    • We will provide emergency items like blankets, coats, hats, gloves, hand/foot warmers, sleeping bags
    • We will provide non perishable ready to eat food items
  3. Connect homeless to resources that are in place to help them
  4. Be a companion through the system by helping people with parts of system they are having difficulty navigating
  5. We will work in cooperation with (but independent from) the Police and FC Rangers
  6. Serve as a Liaison between Merchants Associations, Businesses, other Agencies and the Homeless
  7. Long Term Goal is to connect homeless with housing

Program Outline:

The Outreach program is year-round and ongoing and the outreach team is made up of volunteers who have gone through the HG outreach training program and have committed to street outreach shifts on a regular basis.

Schedule:

  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday Nights; and Wednesday afternoons
  • Shift Hours: 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM during evening shifts, 1:00 PM to 3:00 during afternoon shifts

Outreach Training:

The process to become certified for street outreach involves three steps:

  • Brief Orientation (phone, email, or face to face)
  • Classroom Training of approximately 2 hours
  • Ride Along Shift with experienced team members

Classroom training will be available by appointment with Outreach manager David Rout. For more information or to sign up for training call David Rout at (970) 682-3193 or e-mail David@HomelessGear.org.