During 2020, a Visioning Committee of South Metro community leaders discussed the possibility of the Foundation. Focus was on learning from other organizations and groups about the major issues confronting the region. Those issues ranged from transportation to food insecurity to employment and education to homelessness and beyond.
In 2021, Visioning Committee members formed a Board of Directors, and decided on the Foundation’s first project. That project was to help raise funds for a Homeless Services Navigation Center and to educate community members about the causes and impacts of homelessness in the South Metro area. This problem, which was growing prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, became worse as the pandemic raged on for many months.
Board members know that homelessness is a serious issue affecting families and people of all ages and ethnicities. Its causes are varied and complex, and it shows no signs of going away. Addressing homelessness will need flexible, long-term solutions from governments, nonprofits and the faith community.
The work of the Board of the Foundation is supplemented periodically with input from an Advisory Council made up of high-level community leaders.
SMCF is seeking funding to help make the Tri-Cities Homeless Navigation Center a reality! The Center will be a place where homeless people can feel safe and have their unique needs met with services from more than 40 service-providing organizations.
SMCF is seeking funding to help Any amount is helpful, but please consider a commitment over four years:
- Become a Friend of SMCF – pledge $1,500 over four years
- Become a Strategic Partner – pledge $2,000 over four years
- Become a Change Agent – pledge $10,000 over four years
South Metro Community Foundation Receives $310,000
to Fund the Tri-Cities Homeless Navigation Center
March 10, 2022 — The South Metro Community Foundation (SMCF) has announced awards totaling $310,000 from Arapahoe County to fund establishment of the Tri-Cities Homeless Navigation Center.
Susan Thornton, Chair of the SMCF, said this exciting news will allow the Navigation Center to begin hiring staff and reaching out to people experiencing homelessness before the end of the year.
$300,000 of the funds, she says, from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, while $10,000 is a grant from the county’s Aid to Agencies fund.
The Tri-Cities Homeless Navigation Center is a recommendation of the Tri-Cities Homeless Policy Group, which studied the issues of homelessness in Littleton, Englewood and Sheridan for almost three years.
SMCF is partnering with Change The Trend, a network of organizations that serve people who are unhoused in the south metro area. Those organizations will bring their clients to the Navigation Center for assessment of the clients’ unique needs. There the clients will be directed to needed services, such as job training, mental health counseling, addiction services, etc. The Navigation Center will follow clients through a computerized tracking system to learn how many people are unhoused in the tri-cities, and the services that lead to stability and secure housing.
Thornton said that SMCF has been pursuing grants for the Navigation Center for over a year, and will continue to seek support from grant-making foundations in Colorado. “Such a powerful vote of confidence from the Arapahoe County Commissioners is greatly appreciated,” she said, “and should result in the Navigation Center helping to get people who are homeless off of street corners and intro productive lives.”
SMCF is a community-supported 501(c)3 that has no staff, only a hard-working Board of Directors and Advisory Council. Learn more at www.SMCFinfo.org.