Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Matters – Homelessness can strike anyone. That’s the message of a new campaign in metro Denver called “Close to Home,” that hopes to give people a better understanding of who is homeless and how the community can help.

Rebecca Arno is with the Denver Foundation, one of a handful of non-profits and government groups leading the effort.  Leanne Wheeler is also part of the campaign. Wheeler was trained as an aerospace engineer, lost her job during the recession, and eventually became homeless. She says she never expected it to happen to her.

Arno and Wheeler spoke with CPR’s Andrea Dukakis.

Leanne Wheeler, an aerospace engineer, says she never thought she’d become homeless.  

“Close to Home” suggests some ways to help

  • Organize a volunteer day, create and distribute survival or move-in kits, or see other ways you and family or co-workers can get involved.
  • Make cash donations to local homeless advocacy or care organizations or host a drive to collect new or gently used clothing to donate to homeless support organizations
  • Hire someone experiencing homelessness
  • Speak up at town meetings when homeless issues are being discussed
  • Write an article for a work newsletter or local newspaper about the issue
  • Encourage family, friends and co-workers to get involved by volunteering or contributing
  • Offer a homeless person food, water or a kind word when you encounter them.
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