During the 2016 season, street outreach volunteers made 36,942 contacts (37% increase from 2015), supplied 30,200 meals, 4,025 pairs of socks, 1,630 blankets, 158 nights of emergency motel sheltering, 2,300 guest nights of cold-weather sheltering, facilitated 14 individuals to move into housing, and much more for individuals experiencing homelessness in Longmont.
Founded in 2007, HOPE’s core program, night time street outreach, provides life-sustaining support to homeless individuals who are at risk from living on the streets of Longmont. HOPE’s goal is to ensure that people who do not have permanent housing and are living on the streets can survive the elements. During winter street outreach shifts (6:00pm – 9:00pm), street outreach teams provide basic needs support such as food, water, clothing, hygiene kits, blankets or sleeping bags. During the summer outreach shifts, teams offer cold water, sunscreen and bug spray in addition to the meals. Additionally, street outreach provides referrals to appropriate social service agencies for follow-up or more comprehensive care.
EMERGENCY WARMING SHELTER
The shelter opened every night from 11/15/16 – 3/15/17 with additional severe weather activated dates. Overnight guests were relieved to have a warm and safe place to sleep every night during the coldest months, regardless of the temperature. In previous years, emergency shelter was weather-activated and open only in severe conditions. Additional services included case management, showers, laundry and medical care provided by the Hopelight Medical Clinic to treat emergent and chronic health conditions. Job training sis an integral component of the shelter and seven people currently experiencing homelessness were hired as part-time staff. The goal of this ‘first step’ employment is to provide the skills, experience and confidence needed to find living-wage jobs. Three individuals moved into housing as a direct result of their employment at the shelter during the 2016-2017 season.
Through its emergency assistance program, HOPE provides bus passes, laundry vouchers, fills prescriptions and more, on a case by case basis. This program offers medical respite to individuals released from hospitals who have no indoor place to stay.
Transitional storage provides a safe place for people to keep their belongings as they work, seek employment, or attend classes and appointments. Identified as a primary step toward self-sufficiency, the opportunity to store belongings can be transformative.
STEP UP LONGMONT
The Step Up program pairs teams of community volunteers with individuals experiencing homelessness. Teams from faith, community and human services organizations, city government and businesses work with individuals to help achieve self-sufficiency and build support systems.
BIKES FOR HOPE
Thanks to a partnership between local businesses and cycling enthusiasts in our community, HOPE is able to distribute bicycles to clients with a demonstrated need. We accept donations of bicycles and bike parts, then volunteer bike mechanics refurbish the bicycles and add important features like lights and luggage racks so that each bicycle given to a HOPE client is reliable and safe. Having a bicycle helps people experiencing homelessness meet a vital need for transportation, which is an empowering step towards self-sufficiency.