Making a Difference During Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2023
How to help provide housing and food supports for those in need this holiday season
In the United States, over 580,000 people find themselves homeless on any given night and an alarming 795 million Americans do not have enough food to support themselves. Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, happening November 11-18, was established as a response to these distressing figures and provides an annual opportunity to make a meaningful impact during the holiday season through volunteering, donating, and raising awareness.
There are abundant opportunities for individuals to get involved, and the official Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week website has a comprehensive list of events and resources, creating the chance to make a tangible difference this holiday season.
Additionally, we would like to share two RMHS programs focused on helping people who experience homelessness, and a selection of local food resources we encourage you to share, and access.
RMHS Programs that Support People Experiencing Homelessness
The RMHS Mission Supports Program:
A recent addition to RMHS, Mission Supports has operated in Denver for several years. The program helps eligible Denver-area residents who are struggling with homelessness obtain appropriate disability benefits and services while connecting them with the resources and support they need to safely thrive.
“This program is really about trying to help people set up for their future,” said program Director Arnie Swenson.
Previously, Mission Supports was an RMHS Mill Levy Community Initiative but as of fall 2023, they have officially joined RMHS. You can learn more about the Mission Supports program here.
The RMHS Homes for All Veterans Program:
The RMHS Homes for All Veterans Program (HAV) assists veterans who are homeless or close to becoming homeless find safe and permanent housing, accessible healthcare, and much more.
“At any given moment, there are approximately 1000 Veterans in Colorado that are currently experiencing homelessness. The Homes for All Veterans program at RMHS has a goal of ending Veteran homelessness in Colorado,” said program director, Deidre Knight.
According to Knight, in the last 12 months, HAV housed 603 Veterans across the state. You can learn more about the Homes for All Veteran’s program here.
Local Food Resources
Across the front range of Colorado, there are a variety of local food resources available to help those in need. Additionally, during the holiday season there are many local events providing meals. Below you will find a selection of organizations and additional resources and events provided in our holiday resource guide.
Metro Caring is a food bank that provides nutritious groceries and anti-hunger resources to those in need of support in the Denver community. Metro Caring accepts donations of both food and funds in many forms. To enhance their mission of providing nutritious options to the individuals and families they support, Metro Caring provides a list of suggested food donations on their website here.
Jovial Concepts is a nonprofit organization and a Mill Levy Community Initiative that works to improve access to healthy foods for underserved communities in the Denver area. Their Jovial Gardens program converts lawns into organic gardens to provide high quality and nutritious foods to those in need.
To learn more and find out how you can host a garden, please visit the Jovial Gardens program website.
2023 RMHS Holiday Resource Guide
RMHS has compiled a list of resources in the community for the holidays that will alleviate some of the stress of this time. In this guide, you will find various organizations providing food boxes, hot holiday meals, gift assistance, and more throughout the months of November and December. You can view the guide here.
Rocky Mountain Human Services is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 that connects people with the resources they need to build the lives they choose in their communities. We assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and veterans who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness. To find out how you can help, please visit RMHS | Denver | Human Services (rmhumanservices.org).