[Hpn] CO Coalition for the Homeless holds Compassion in Action Day Program FWD FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 16:18:35 -0700 (PDT)


Can faith groups and advocacy coalitions work together to help homeless
people to "reach the aims which homeless people define for themselves"?

If so, under what conditions?

If not necessarily so, what are the barriers?  Can these named barriers be
overcome?  If so, how?

See below for a related news article:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0410.htm
FWD  Denver Post - April 10, 2000

     COMMUNITY LEARNS HOW TO HELP HOMELESS

     By Kelley Harp
     Special to The Denver Post

 In 1994, Bowling was sleeping on the streets

 Dave Bowling spent the 1980s working as a high-level employee in a Fortune
500 company.

 In 1994, Bowling was sleeping on the streets.

 "If you think (homelessness) is something that cannot happen to you, I
suggest you be careful with that thought," he said Sunday.

 Bowling, a recovering alcoholic who is no longer homeless, was one speaker
at the Compassion in Action Day Program at the St. Francis Center, meant to
educate people about homelessness and how to help.

 The program, sponsored by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the
Compassion in Action Task Force, brought together members of the faith
community, homeless people and representatives from volunteer
organizations.

 "The goal is to bring folks into relationships with people that are
homeless," said Mindy Klowden, manager of Community Outreach for the
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. "The faith community is being targeted
because we know it is part of every major religion to care for those in
need."  Speakers urged the crowd to become part of the solution by
volunteering and pushing legislators. The program educated people on how to
get involved.

 The lack of low-income housing is the biggest homeless issue facing
Denver, said Tom Luehrs, executive director for St. Francis Center.  The
hourly wage needed to afford a two bedroom apartment in Denver is $12.77,
according to the homeless coalition. In June 1998, about 5,750 people were
homeless in the Denver metro area.

 After spending about two years on the street, Bowling turned his faith
from material possessions to a spiritual quest. He thanks God for homeless
organizations, which he said ultimately saved his life.

 "I'm here to suggest to you there is only one reason for homelessness. As
a society, we do not care," Bowling said. "There's only one solution to
homelessness, and that's a home. We put people on the moon, but we can't
handle this. It's about time we stand up and speak out."

For a list of volunteer opportunities to help the homeless,
contact Klowden at 303-293-2219, Ext. 1203.

END FORWARD

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