The homeless and families facing eviction can receive help from Denver Inner City Parish. There may also be assistance for other very low income residents, and the non-profit administers a number of services. While all resources are limited, the charity does its best to assist the disadvantaged.
Partnering with local pantries and food banks, the FERN - Food Exchange Resource Network is a parish operated distribution center and warehouse in Southwest Denver. The site can provide clients free vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk, whole grains, baby formula and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet. The goal is FERN is to provide those that can’t afford it fresh food on their own, and the aim is to help low-income residents feed their families or children. Denver Inner City Parish makes it possible to fill that need by working with pantries and charities in the city.
Another option is the DICP Food Bank, and this is one of the non-profits longest running programs. Operated as a no-boundary pantry, the program is available to anyone in need, regardless of their age, race, part of the county they live in or even income.
The Food Bank is set up according to a client-choice model, meaning that people that use the site are able to shop for items of their choosing and exactly what they need, rather than picking up pre-packaged boxes of groceries. This results in less waste and shows greater respect for the dignity of the customers. The location of the center is FERN Warehouse at 2830 South Zuni Street, and it can be called at 720-881-7520.
The free, Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner as well as the Christmas Gift Distribution is DICP’s longest standing tradition. The family style dinner is offered at multiple sites in the city. What is provided includes free meals, presents for children, toys, and more. These holiday programs depend on donations and volunteers from the community.
FSET - Food Stamp Employment and Training assists low-income individuals, typically those with no dependents and those who are not eligible for cash assistance, with employment-enhancing activities as well as job searches. Many people who use this Denver Inner City Parish service are on SNAP food stamps. The goal is to guide clients of FSET in working toward gaining self-sufficiency, and ending their dependence on public assistance.
The Rental Assistance Program from Denver Inner City Parish provides cash grants to homeless or at-risk households. The funds can be used to pay a security deposit or first month’s rent costs for new living arrangements or an apartment in Denver. Or homeless prevention is offered too, as the money can be used for a single month’s rent payment to avoid eviction.
Additionally, at times when all shelters are at capacity, DICP’s Hotel/Motel Program provides free vouchers to pay for temporary shelter in local motels or hotels. It is also available during the winter, and it is for those who are homeless due to domestic abuse, fire, evictions and other crises.
Denver Inner City Parish educational services are for those from the community who lack high school diplomas. The non-profit will help people earn a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), and this certificate is an invaluable step in improving employment prospects, increasing income and helping people with escaping a life of poverty. DICP offers Adult Education courses at locations to help Denver residents in earning their GEDs. Or even enrolling into other programs.
Project ReNew assists the working poor, homeless, veterans, the disabled and/or previously incarcerated adults with finding employment and going on the path to stability. There is also help in overcoming addiction and developing personal habits that help them toward success. Project ReNew and the case managers that take part also promote reaching the goal of self-sufficiency by providing clothing, sober transitional housing, and free transportation services.
DICP partners with the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition as well as Life-Line Colorado to offer the new Work and Gain Education and Employment Skills Program (WAGEES) to high school dropouts or ex-offenders. The resource will help the clients start a new life and gain stability. This program provides personal support, free services and financial incentives to help participants improve their employment prospects, education, and even enroll into job training.
The offices of Denver Inner City Parish are located at 1212 Mariposa St., Denver, CO 80204. For more information, call 303-629-0636.
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