In a re-launch of its community-wide giving case, the City of Colorado Springs has joined forces with the Springs Rescue Mission in a Work Engagement program. The HelpCOS My City Project will be supported by donations to the HelpCOS fund and will operate under the Springs Rescue Mission’s existing work engagement program.
Introducing the HelpCOS My City Project
The HelpCOS My City Project is a monthly neighborhood clean-up crew made up of Springs Rescue Mission residents involved in the volunteer work engagement program. In return for their involvement, residents gain valuable work experience, referrals from the Rescue Mission to sustainable employment, and a reserved place in the men’s or women’s shelter. In addition, residents take pride in caring for their city.
The HelpCOS My City Project crews will conduct monthly clean ups in the Mill Street neighborhood, which is home to the Springs Rescue Mission campus. Local coffee shop, Urban Steam, will donate hot coffee to the workers. The City will provide equipment and vests through donations received for the Help COS program. The City’s Neighborhood Services division will help by picking up the collected trash. The program may be expanded beyond the Mill Street neighborhood based on staffing and funding.
“If you ask residents why they are participating, the first answer you will get is that they love their city, and they want to give back,” said Travis Williams, Vice President of the Springs Rescue Mission. “This program is a constructive way for them to do that while gaining the skills they need to transition out of homelessness and into a more sustainable, dignified and healthy lifestyle.”
Colorado Springs Homeless Initiative
Collaborative projects like this are one of the goals in the City’s 2019 Homelessness Initiative. The initiative is a boots-on-the-ground, one-year action plan to address homelessness-related issues in Colorado Springs.
“This project fulfills another objective in our Homelessness Initiative,” said Andrew Phelps, the city’s homelessness response and prevention coordinator. “We are proud of the progress we have made with the Homelessness Initiative so far, and this objective in particular has a lot of potential to give individuals experiencing homelessness a path towards employment and hopefully permanent housing.”
The City’s HelpCOS campaign offers an effective and compassionate alternative to handouts by empowering local service provides like the Springs Rescue Mission as they address the issue of homelessness in our community.
To help support the HelpCOS My City Project and additional work engagement programs at the Springs Rescue Mission, visit www.HelpCOS.org or text HelpCOS to 667682.
Springs Rescue Mission Work Engagement program
Three hundred eighty-three men and women who have completed the work engagement and other programs offered through the Springs Rescue Mission have found or maintained employment. This successful reintegration into society bolsters our economy and alleviates the costs associated with caring for the chronically homeless.
“Our volunteers don’t just want to take,” Williams says, “Through the program, they get to give back to their community and demonstrate that there is dignity and hope through work.”
- Behind the Springs podcast: How can you HelpCOS?
- HelpCOS website
- Colorado Springs Homeless Initiative
- Springs Rescue Mission
- Springs Rescue Mission Blog