Give US Your Poor, a national public education campaign addressing homelessness shares, “there has yet to be determined a master solution to epidemic homelessness – one silver bullet. Homelessness is complicated because so many issues are intertwined. In fact, the word homelessness describes one common result (having no home) but with many, many routes to get there.”
There are more than 5,400 homeless in metro Denver, according to the area’s last Point-In-Time study. Of that total, homeless families make up 45.2%.
Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of homelessness, and are more likely to experience physical, emotional, and educational challenges. Homeless children are sick four times more often than other children and go hungry at twice the rate. Homeless children have four times as many respiratory infections, twice as many chronic ear infections, and are four times more likely to have asthma. Homeless children are four times more likely to show delayed development and twice as likely to have learning disabilities as children who are not homeless.
The causes of homelessness in the greater Denver area are, for the most part, no different than those causing homelessness around the rest of the country. “The most commonly reported reasons for homelessness in Denver are loss of a job, housing costs, and the breakup of a family.” (Denver’s Road Home). The loss of a job and the cost of housing are inherently related because without stable income, one cannot secure affordable housing.
The National Center on Family Homelessness’ report states, “whether made homeless by economic hardship, domestic violence, the trauma of war, or physical or emotional challenges, these homeless families have lost more than their homes. They’ve lost their health, safety, and the capacity to support themselves. The homeless children are young; they have witnessed violence in their families and on the streets; they are anxious, depressed, and withdrawn. Today, they need a shelter. To build a life, they need support.”
Family Promise of Greater Denver offers hope and assistance to help homeless families once again achieve self-sufficiency. Support provided includes goal setting, parenting skills, money management, and help with locating housing and employment. We help children and their families realize positive outcomes that lead to greater self-sufficiency. And we’re focused on new initiatives that offer long-term support. Since 1997, we helped more than 1,100 families, including 2,000 children!