Nine years ago today, Ken John founded Homeless Gear with a simple but important mission: collect and distribute outdoor gear to people experiencing homeless. 

That mission still stands -- last year alone, we distributed more than $1.5 million worth of life-sustaining product to people and organizations across the state -- but now, thanks to Ken and thousands  of volunteers, donors, staff/Board members and other stakeholders, Distribution is one program among many... part of a family of programs (including the Murphy Center)  operating under the Homeless Gear umbrella that empower individuals and families facing homelessness to survive, move forward and thrive. 

What follows is a brief summary of some of what you have helped us accomplish over the past nine years.. but before we dive in, we hope you will consider joining us on June 9, 2017 for our seventh-annual fundraiser: Toast to Transitions!!! You can find more information toward the bottom of this newsletter. 

On behalf of the entire Homeless Gear team, thank you for all that you have done to make these first nine years a success. 

David Rout
Executive Director

Homeless Gear was Launched in 2008.  Thanks to Your Support, Here's What's Happened Since:
- Launched in late 2014
  • Helped 23 families -- including 53 children -- escape homelessness
  • Maintained a 100% housing-retention rate 
  • Provided families with tangible (e.g. financial management) and intangible (e.g. emotional) support
 Hand Up 
- Merged with Homeless Gear in 2012
  • Helped secure 789 jobs
  • Recorded more than 630 transactions in our Career Closet
  • Developed partnerships with more than 30 businesses that hire program participants
Dedicated Navigator - Launched in 2011 and Merged with Homeless Gear in 2015
  • Helped people complete more than 2,300 benefits applications: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food assistance), Old Age Pension, Aid to the Needy and Disabled, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid 
  • In 2016 alone, helped more than 445 individuals/households gain approval for more than $1.6 million in potential annual benefits
- Launched in 2012
  • Recorded more than 32,000 interactions
  • Interacted with well over 2,000 unduplicated individuals
  • Thanks to the incredible team, never missed a shift...that's well over 750 shifts completed!
- Launched in 2009
  • Served more than 3,000 families via service events, through which we bring together multiple agencies (Christ Clinic, P.U.P., the Family Center, Fort Collins Read Aloud, the Health Department, Colorado Legal Services, The Matthews House, Support Our Girls, PSD Early Childhood, SAFY and so many others!) to deliver services and resource information
  • Collected 25,000 meals-worth of food for KidsPak, a weekend hunger-relief program for children in Loveland and Berthoud (we launched this food collection in 2014)
- Launched in 2008
  • Distributed more than $8 million worth of supplies via our Gear Room, our Street Outreach program and to dozens of organizations throughout the state
  • Distributed more than 230,000 meals
Bike Program  - Launched by (Amazing!) Volunteers in 2016
  • Completed 460 bike repairs 
  • Recorded well over 600 volunteers hours with nearly a dozen volunteer bike mechanics
Beyond Our Programs...
  • Became -- alongside a broad collaborative or community partners -- Managing Partner of the Murphy Center in December 2015
  • Assumed fiscal responsibility of the facility in 2017, meaning that while the Murphy Center is still a collaborative, it is now under Homeless Gear's umbrella
The Murphy Center collaborative and/or agencies that operate out of the building (agencies can be found here) have impacted thousands of lives since the new model:
  • Since partway through 2016: Celebrated 65 housing placement successes (65 people came back to report that they obtained housing!)
  • Recorded more than 45,000 guest visits
  • Increased the number of service providers from 13 to 17, collectively offering a continuum of more than 38 services
We Have Been Honored to Receive These Awards on Behalf of Our Incredible Volunteers, Partners and Supporters


One Village One Family: Realities for Children Affiliate Youth Agency of the Year Award

Homeless Gear:  Group Publishing Social Services Community Based Award

Murphy Center: Recipient of City of Loveland Model Partnership Award


Homeless Gear: Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year Award from the Governor's Service Awards

Homeless Gear: Fort Collins Human Relations Commissions Award

Volunteers and Partners

Each of our programs is collaborative.  We could not have increased our impact year-over-year without each of our partners and donors and with the 1,000-plus volunteers who devote their time and talent to our organization each year.
THANK YOU.   If not for you, we would not be where we are today and nine years since we were founded. (Seriously!!)


1. Attend Our One-and-Only Fundraising Event! 
(Dinner, Drinks, Desserts Included...and More Surprises)
Toast to Transitions is our
one-and-only  live fundraising event of the year, and this year's event should be a blast. 

Please support Homeless Gear and purchase your tickets or table here as soon as you can!

Can't come? You can still help by making a donation on the ticket site or inviting all of your friends!
2. Volunteer
Some top "now" needs: 
  • MURPHY CENTER SUPPORT COACH: Provide specialized support to Murphy Center guests.  Regular shifts available M-F 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm; direct service; ongoing; adults only
  • SUBSTITUTE: Be trained with the Gear Room, Food Pantry, Mail, Core Services and/or Dedicated Navigator and be a sub!  Subbing takes place M-F between 8am and 5pm (primarily mornings); direct service; as-needed/as-available; adults only
  • SAM'S CLUB FOOD COLLECTION EVENTS: Hand lists of items to customers and collect food (this is one of our primary food-contributors!)   Shifts are 10:30am-1:30pm or 1:30pm-4:30pm; upcoming dates in Fort Collins are  May 20th, June 3rd and July 1st; upcoming dates in Loveland are  May 13th, June 17th and July 15th; other dates can be found here; all ages; great for families; feel free to bring a friend; one-time (or ongoing!)  
3. Host a Supply Drive
Organize a drive in your neighborhood, at work, at your place of worship, in class, with friends or your club! Focus on one item (e.g. blankets or new underwear) or on a genre (e.g. non-perishable food). Any amount makes a difference! A full list of what we collect and distribute can be found here
Have a great week, everyone!

If you haven't already, please don't forget to save the dates for the Murphy Center Community Dinner on August 4th and the Murphy Center Mission to Hope Walk on December 2nd!
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