To Colorado Media Outlets:

On June 29, 2016, media outlets across the country are being asked to coordinate their coverage to bring attention to this country’s homelessness crisis.

Editors of major news sources, motivated by the thousands of individuals without access to housing, are working together to flood the news cycle with stories of the problems, solutions, and people most effected. The goal is to promote civil discourse, hold elected officials accountable, and inspire change.

It is especially troubling that nearly 15,000 school-aged children and youth in Metro Denver were known to be homeless during the 2014-2015 school year. This represents an increase of 322% over the past ten years.

Losing a home can happen to anyone. Job loss, high housing costs, family break-ups and illnesses are among the most common causes of homelessness. According to a study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, minimum wage workers need to work 102 hours per week to afford a 2-bedroom rental unit in Colorado. And 40% of working Colorado renters spend more than a 1/3 of their income on housing.

We are asking for your help in changing this. We urge you to participate in the coordinated coverage on June 29 by reporting on homelessness in our community, alongside other reporters across the nation.

CLOSE TO HOME can be a resource in helping you shine a light on homelessness. CLOSE TO HOME is a campaign to raise awareness, increase understanding, and move Coloradans to speak up and take actions that make a meaningful difference in addressing homelessness. We know that increased public engagement paves the road to solutions such as affordable housing, supportive services, and employment and education opportunities. The campaign has a speakers’ bureau and stories of Metro-area residents who have experienced homelessness, such as Jan Watkins. A former news producer, Jan and her two daughters experienced homelessness, and regained a home through hard work and a hand up.

By speaking up and showing compassion, we can become a community where everyone has a safe place to call home.


Christie McElhinney



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