The Douglas/Elbert Task Force Help & Hope Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit human service organization dedicated to providing assistance to people in Douglas and Elbert counties who are in serious economic need, at risk of homelessness, or in a similar crisis. We address immediate needs by consistently providing food and other necessities for homeless, low income and the working poor in our community. We meet these challenges with over 290 volunteers, three full-time and ten part-time staff.
People who are in crisis operate under incredible stress. Having a calm, warm, quiet place to come, and being made welcome by a smiling volunteer, immediately diffuses some of that stress. For the kids, we provide an airy, quiet space with room for them to play safely.
Having the opportunity to be listened to and heard by staff who not only understand but who can often make a difference that day is an incredible relief, particularly for clients with children. We go through many, many boxes of tissues, and hugs are given liberally at the Help & Hope Center
Brief History: in 1984, local parishioners of several Castle Rock churches joined forces to create a centralized location to send people in need. The founders also wanted to encourage volunteerism by providing opportunities for the members of their congregations to become directly involved with the needs in their communities.
- Last year the Help & Hope Center provided 16,670 community members with $1,677,510 of direct and in-kind client assistance.
- The Help & Hope Center addresses the issues that affect community members who are unemployed, underemployed, on fixed incomes, disabled, and elderly. Help & Hope Center staff members provide quality screening, one-on-one counseling, effective service delivery, and meaningful referrals for all clients.
- The Help & Hope Center currently has three full-time and ten part-time employees. In addition, over 300 volunteers are critically important to the organization.
- Last year,Help & Hope Center volunteers provided 47,986 hours of service, the equivalent of 23 full-time staff.
The major services the Help & Hope Center provides are:
- Food and Toiletries: Last year we distributed $1,250,137 in food, hygiene, and household supplies. A total of 726,824 lbs of food were distributed. Approximately 83.6% of clients receive these basic services.
- The Help & Hope Center also conducts three off-site food banks monthly at low-income senior housing units, providing food/hygiene assistance to senior citizens in need.
- Housing Assistance: The Help & Hope Center provided $83,787 in rent assistance for 235 households in last year.
- Utility Assistance: The agency provided $127,585 in utility assistance (heat, electric, water) to clients with shut-off notices in in 2017 (368 unduplicated households, some needing help with multiple utility bills).
- Emergency Overnight Lodging: The Help & Hope Center provided $13,934 in assistance (325 nights of lodging) last year. In conjunction with the Police and Sheriff’s Departments, the Help and Hope Center provides vouchers
for emergency lodging for homeless or transient individuals and families.
- Clothing, Household Items: The Help & Hope Center distributed items from Treasures on Park Street in 2017 valued at $189,395. Clients may “shop” for free in the thrift store for clothing, shoes, household items, and furniture.
- ID Documentation: The Help & Hope Center assists clients in securing the documentation needed for housing applications, school, and social services, including Colorado State IDs, birth certificates, etc. The agency also assists with GED fees.
- Information and Referral: Staff and volunteers make thousands of referrals connecting clients to other agencies and resources in order to provide long-term solutions to problems.
- Santa’s Sharing and Birthdays: Community members, organizations, and the Help & Hope Center sponsor families for the holidays, providing gift cards and toys. Parents may use our Toy Chest (Birthday Room) year round if they cannot afford birthday gifts for their children, or if their child needs a new gift in order to attend another child’s birthday party.
- Our thrift store, Treasures on Park Street, accepts donations of new and gently used merchandise for resale. Proceeds of Treasures on Park Street help fund our programs and support our community.