Helping Denver’s homeless prepare for winter

 

The Salvation Army takes to the streets in Denver’s “homeless triangle.”

The last few nights have been eye-openers for us at The Salvation Army. Emergency Disaster Relief, Harbor Light, Crossroads volunteers and staff have been feeding people in the “homeless triangle,” so we could let them know when our cold weather shelter will open.

The simple task of feeding quickly turned into a bigger project because of the needs we became aware of. Lack of funding in both California and Arizona have caused many homeless shelters to close, forcing those in need to our area, wearing flip-flops and no coats. You might ask who are the homeless, why are they homeless, what are their stories, are they just lazy, mentally ill? There is not just one answer. Their stories are just as unique as the people themselves. Here is who we’ve helped:

A Vietnam veteran who is battling cancer for the second time

Mentally ill

Educated but down on their luck

Victims of the economic downturn

Young men who look like they could be your brother

A woman with four children in shorts and no coats

Men who moved from L.A. who have nothing buts flip-flops and shorts

A man so cold he couldn’t hold his soup bowl because he was shaking so badly

What we discovered the first night was a new group of homeless (men, women, children) who are not prepared at all for Colorado winters. Some were there because they choose to be, but many are new to homelessness and don’t know where to go and how to navigate the laws of the street.

So far this week, The Salvation Army has provided:

500 hot meals

79 coats

64 blankets

155 stocking hats

350 pairs of socks

100 undergarments

150-plus gloves

12 backpacks

We will continue “Doing The Most Good” for Denver’s homeless as long as possible. We greatly appreciate the support of the volunteers and donors, without whom we would not be able to provide these much needed services.

 

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