Homeless & Housing,
Mission: The Gathering Place is a community of safety and hope where positive relationships, choice, and essential resources transform lives.
Programs: Meet basic needs: resource advocates on the community access team (cat) respond to members' immediate needs with services that include showers, laundry, naps, mail service, locker storage, telephone access, and an extensive array of resources and referrals. Similar to the cat response, tgp's family program provides support to families in a safe, nurturing, and developmentally rich environment and the team is available to care for children while mothers/guardians utilize or participate in other tgp services and programs. In our community dining room, the food services program serves freshly prepared meals (breakfast, lunch, and early dinner) that include healthy and delicious options, which accommodate most dietary needs and preferences. For example, vegetarian options are available for meals. Our food pantries (betsy's cupboard and family program) provide healthy groceries, baby food/formula, toiletries, and diapers. Bridget's boutique, tgp's clothing bank, distributes clothing to members who have an emergency need for replacement clothes or need clothes for employment reasons.
foster personal growth: tgp's education and job readiness program helps members reach their goals, advance their education, improve their employment potential, and increase their income. Educational opportunities for adult members at tgp include the high school equivalency program, skills development classes, writers group, and book club. The high school equivalency program is provided in collaboration with community college of denver and provides students who test at a seventh grade level or above with classroom instruction in a dedicated study room, pays testing fees, and provides access to computers for studying and taking tests. Students who have a reading level below seventh grade can increase their reading level and math skills through the skills development classes, which are led by volunteers, and include instruction in english as a second language. Additionally, all members are welcome to participate in the drop-in writers group and book club, which also bolster literacy and learning. Job readiness opportunities include job search assistance, onsite job fairs, and private appointments. Job search assistance sessions, held twice per week, include dedicated time in the computer lab to complete online job applications, help from volunteers on resume and cover letter building, and assistance with conducting online job searches. At least once a month, a job fair is hosted onsite and can either be a practice event with human resource volunteers or an actual hiring fair with an employer. Private appointments with the job readiness program manager also provide members a chance to discuss their job or education related needs and get referrals, assistance, and advice. Tgp's computer lab provides access to technological opportunities and offers freedom of choice in a modern lab. Volunteers run the lab and are available to help members learn computer software and programs. Because many businesses, educational institutions, and service providers are increasingly dependent on computer and web-based services, the importance of "computer literacy" cannot be overestimated. The physical and mental health program promotes wellness and growth by increasing access to health care information, services, and referrals. Bringing partner agencies and pro bono health professionals onsite to serve members relieves various barriers to care (e. G. , transportation) for members who are already at tgp for other reasons. Additionally, by building trusting and collaborative relationships with both members and partner agencies, tgp is able to provide "warm hand-off" referrals where members are introduced personally to outside partner agencies, improving the success rate of such referrals. The program also provides assistance to pay for prescriptions or pharmacy gift cards for minor medical supplies and over the counter medications. The arts program is a broad category of creative programming that includes greeting card art, knitting and crocheting, open art, a creative writing group, and a music group. Some of these endeavors have intangible benefits such as increased self-esteem, the opportunity to be part of a caring community, and the chance to engage in creative expression.
social enterprise: art restart: art restart was launched in 2014 as a social enterprise to diversify and expand tgp's funding sources and give members an opportunity to earn supplemental income from their artistic talents through sales marketed throughout the unites states. Art restart provides members with the support and supplies they need to create their own art. Select pieces are then turned into custom merchandise from which the artists receive a royalty on every purchase made. Art restart was recently chosen as a social venture finalist out of 150 applicants in a competitive process with over 138 judges from around the unites states. Visit: www. Artrestart. Org for more information.