Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual collaboration across the country to draw attention to the issues of hunger and homelessness, and will be taking place November 16-24, 2019. Family Tree is extending this week to the entire month of November to help educate our community about homelessness in the Denver metro area and how you can help.
It is hard to miss that homelessness is a big issue in Denver. High housing costs, job loss, low wages, domestic violence, changed family situations and illnesses are among the most common causes of homelessness. One unfortunate event can push families and individuals out of their homes. Research shows that 4 in 10 Americans could not afford a $400 emergency, putting them at risk of losing their housing.
On any given day in the Denver metro area, there are 5,755 people experiencing homelessness, according to the 2019 Point In Time survey. This count is believed to be an underrepresentation, as most homelessness is unknown and unseen. Most families and individuals without a safe and stable place to live transition among different settings, including short-stay motels, doubling-up with friends or family, sleeping in cars or in shelters.
This means at least 5,755 of our neighbors are without a place to call home. Real people, with real risks to their safety, health and opportunities for stability.
The state of homelessness might feel like an insurmountable issue, but there are many ways you can help. Volunteering, hosting a drive or donating a financial gift to your local housing and family stabilization program, such as Family Tree, can directly support individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our community.
In recognition of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, a great way to support Family Tree right now is by donating food for the individuals and families in our programs. We have an ongoing need for food in our Housing & Family Stabilization Service programs, as people experiencing homelessness most often also do not know where their next meal will come from. Shelf-stable food, fresh groceries or afterschool snacks are all great donations that will go directly to those in need.
Family Tree also encourages you to learn more about the causes and solutions to homelessness and to be an advocate in our community. Your engagement draws attention to the value of all community members and can help address underlying causes of homelessness, while improving the safety and stability of our neighbors.
Homelessness is a huge challenge across the country, but when together, we lend a hand to our neighbors, we are acknowledging this is an issue we care about while making a meaningful difference.
Donations can be dropped off at Family Tree’s Admin Office at 3805 Marshall St., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm. For more information about hosting a drive or cooking a meal for one of Family Tree’s housing facilities, contact Tami Mawhir at firstname.lastname@example.org.