When the Comitis Crisis Center put out a call for donations during its Campus-wide Warm Clothing Drive, CU Anschutz students, faculty and staff, alongside the surrounding community, responded in a big way.
The drive generated more than 500 donations, with 260 items coming directly from CU Anschutz students, faculty and staff.
The School of Dental Medicine (SDM) challenged its faculty, staff and students to participate in the clothing drive by pledging to donate one toothbrush for every item donated. SDM collected items across campus for two weeks, resulting in a large number of coats, blankets, clothes, and personal hygiene items for Comitis, in addition to $700 in cash to buy new coats.
The need for warm clothing is great at Comitis, according to James Gillespie, community impact and government relations liaison at the homeless shelter. As of the third quarter of 2015 Comitis was forced to turn away more than 1,400 individuals looking for shelter. With cold weather setting in, Comitis needs warm clothing and other supplies so those turned away aren’t completely left in the cold.
“Not only do we want to serve the folks who are in our 139 beds that are operating at a 98 percent capacity, but also folks we cannot house in a given night per the fire code,” Gillespie said. “We can still send them away with supplies that will make their lives a little safer, in addition to a referral to another shelter. Even still, we all need a safe place to call home.”
If you are interested in donating warm clothing to Comitis, contact Jessica Rink at [email protected].
To learn more about the state of homelessness in Colorado, visit http://closetohomeco.org.