EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES -- PROVIDING A HAND UP, NOT A HAND OUT
Cold Weather Care (CWC) offers live-saving emergency shelter during the winter months to those experiencing homelessness. We are the only shelter in Adams County serving single men and women, as well as families.
Since 2009 we have created a community of safety and hope, where Christ-centered love guides every aspect of our services. As we meet our guests’ basic needs for shelter and food, and come alongside them with emotional support and individualized case management, we see lives transformed.
A network of churches provides shelter. Each guest has a safe, warm, and personal place to sleep, on a cot we provide along with a pillow and blankets. As much privacy is afforded as the space in each church allows. Families with children are able to stay together as a family unit within one sleeping space.
CWC offers a faith-based community committed to the success of the individual and family. Each day our volunteers prepare breakfast and a bag lunch for our guests to take with them as they head out for their day of house hunting, job hunting, school, or work. Each night we sit down with our guests to a hot, nutritious meal provided and served family style by volunteers. Small teams of trained and dedicated volunteers spend evening hours with our guests to offer emotional support, engage children in fun activities, and build relationships.
CWC provides more than just shelter and food. We offer intensive case management services to all guests, which include assessments, service planning, goal setting, life skill development, referrals, and advocacy. The guests work one-on-one with the Case Manager to develop personalized self-sufficiency plans. Focused effort is then concentrated on those factors that are contributing to, or have caused homelessness. Remaining in our program is contingent upon positive participation and active efforts toward goal achievement. Last season, 64% of our guests were in stable, sustainable housing by season end.
CWC Mission: Providing life-saving shelter and support to individuals and families in Adams County.
Community of Faith United (COFU) in partnership with a network of churches provides life-saving, emergency shelter to the homeless during the winter months through the Cold Weather Care (CWC) program. Our mission is based on Jesus’ great commandment to love Him and love people (Matthew 22:37-40) and His great commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Providing more than just shelter, we help guests cope with their immediate housing crisis, work to connect them with housing, employment and education opportunities, assist them with identifying resources for medical and childcare needs, and teach them life skills that enable them to return to independent living and self-sufficiency.
Guests arrive at the Host church between 6 and 7 p.m. each evening. There, volunteers prepare and serve meals, provide safe sleeping quarters, and make shower facilities available (either on-site or off-site, depending on the Host site capabilities).
Every evening dinner is served family style, sack lunches are packed for the following day, and each morning breakfast is served before guests leave. All adults attend Life Skills classes during the week, which include topics about relationships and parenting, health and wellness, bank accounts and budgeting, time management, and goal setting.
Guests leave the Host churches at 7 a.m. daily (Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.). They get their kids to school, they go to work, or go out to search for jobs and housing, and they receive case management support as they work on self-sufficiency plans. On Sundays, guests pack up their belongings and volunteers move the beds and luggage to the next Host site, where guests will stay for another week.
Through our Case Manager, CWC offers assessment, service planning, referrals, and advocacy. The Case Manager works with guests to identify their own unique barriers to stable housing. Together they develop an action plan that will enable the guest to move towards securing sustainable and permanent housing and work. A guest’s stay in the program is contingent upon positive participation and active efforts toward goal achievement.
Our objective is not simply to shelter the homeless for one more day, but more importantly, to help build a path to self-sufficiency for persons experiencing homelessness, through case management and Christ-centered community support.
We invite you to join with us as we strive to faithfully serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. Be a part of the solution.
Every year, the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative conducts a Point-in-Time study (in conjunction with local service providers, including Cold Weather Care) to estimate the number of individuals who are experiencing homelessness in the seven County Metro Denver area. On January 27, 2014, they counted 5,812 individuals experiencing homelessness and 2,230 people at-risk for homelessness.
And while the number of homeless individuals living in our community is staggering, thousands more are existing one paycheck away from homelessness, struggling to make ends meet as they grapple with decisions such as choosing between buying groceries or paying their utility bills
Impact on Children
Public schools in Adams County identified 3,874 children as homeless in 2012-2013.
These school-aged children are struggling to remain in school while faced with living in substandard motels, shelters, crowded temporary conditions and even unsheltered living situations. The absence of a stable living arrangement has a devastating impact on students‘ educational outcomes. Research shows that:
§ Nationally, one-fifth of homeless children repeat a grade and are enrolled in special education classes at a much higher rate than their non-homeless peers
§ In a single school year, 12 percent of homeless youth miss at least one month of classes
§ About 12 percent of homeless children are not enrolled in school; many more do not attend school regularly
§ Within a year, 41% of students will attend 2 different schools; 28 percent will attend 3 or more schools.
Along with the negative impact on educational outcomes, homeless children suffer from one or more major, chronic medical conditions almost twice as often as housed children.
In Adams County
§ Adams County has the lowest per-capita income of the 7 metro Denver counties
§ 14% of the Adams County population lives below poverty level
§ 73 year round shelter beds are currently available in Adams County
§ 532 children and adults were homeless in Adams County based on the 2014 Metro Denver Homeless Initiative Point in Time Survey
§ Of these homeless, 81% were households with children
For 50% of the respondents, this was their first episode of homelessness
- 443 program volunteers donating over 12,000 hours to the CWC program.
- Housed 69 guests, providing a total of 2,445 nights of shelter.
- At the end of the 2013-2014 season 64% of individual guests left the program into stable housing.
- 389 program volunteers donating over 6,000 hours to the CWC program.
- Housed 51 guests, providing a total of 1,160 nights of shelter.
- At the end of the 2012-2013 season 60% of individual guests left the program into stable housing.
The Cold Weather Care Program could not exist without the dedicated hearts and compassionate spirits of our volunteers! These amazing people provide all of the day-to-day staffing inside the churches necessary to operate the program, as well as providing all of the food made available to guests. During the 2013/14 season we were blessed with 443 volunteers, a 14% increase over the previous season. Volunteers served more than 12,000 hours from October 2013 through April 2014, the equivalent of $301,200 in value and 12 full time staff!! Volunteers who interact directly with guests are recruited through the program’s host churches.
Volunteer appreciation 2013-14