We believe in the need for all young people to learn about economic inequality and their right to secure economic justice.

How can we expect any student or young person to succeed in school, if they don’t have a place to live? Homelessness is at the top of the list of stressers that prevent young people from excelling in school. Further, the homeless are some of the most marginalized people in society, shunned from most public places and often treated with disdain. How can we help those facing these challenges overcome them and find a safe space to restart their lives? Below are videos, links and resources on homelessness in Colorado.

Recommended Videos on Homelessness

Wondering what you can personally do to help the homeless in the moment? This video from a couple in Tacoma, Washington outlines how you can build a backpack of much-needed food and personal care items for homeless people for under $20.

 

What does it look like to think creatively about the housing crisis, the biggest problem currently facing our city? In the 1980’s Ronald Reagan used the recession as an excuse to cut spending on social services, including mental health and housing, which is the primary factor in the population of people experiencing homelessness rising from 200,000 to more than 1.5 million today. It is becoming increasingly incumbent on local municipalities in Colorado to tackle this growing problem at the local level. This talk focuses on the myriad of solutions that exist, both short- and long-term, and what barriers stand in our way.

 

School District Contacts for Homeless Students

Find more information here, including contact information, on how each Colorado school district supports homeless students and families.

Organizations Fighting Poverty and Homelessness

National Organizations

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes peace and justice for all.  The organization's key issue areas include ending discrimination, building peace, defending immigrant rights, ending mass incarceration, and building economic justice.

TalkPoverty.org, a project of the Center for American Progress, is dedicated to covering poverty in America by lifting up the voices of advocates, policymakers, and people struggling to make ends meet.

Colorado

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless works collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for homeless and at-risk families, children, and individuals throughout Colorado.

Denver Homeless Out Loud was born in 2012 as a reaction to Denver's "urban camping ban."  The group works to both amplify the voice and defend the rights of people experiencing homelessness, and is made up of people who have experienced or are currently experiencing homelessness.

Homeward Alliance supports various programs to help individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in Fort Collins and northern Colorado.

HomewardBound of the Grand Valley, based in Grand Junction, provides a safe and healthy step for homeless adults and families on their pathway to home.

Pueblo Rescue Mission, based in Pueblo, provides comprehensive human services that seek to help individuals experiencing homelessness, poverty, or addiction onto a pathway to recover.

Urban Peak operates in Denver and Colorado Springs, and provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

New Mexico

Casa Q, based in Albuquerque, provides safe living options and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, and allies who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness is a partnership of 70 member organizations across the state dedicated to ending homelessness in New Mexico, through a range of services from prevention to permanent housing.

Wyoming

The Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless is a community non-profit organization working for and with the homeless in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Thought Leaders on Twitter

YCD does not endorse individual tweets (other than our own!) but we have curated this list of organizations and people on Twitter who are leading the discussion on addressing economic inequality and building economic justice.

Report: How can we improve jobs & assistance programs to help workers achieve greater stability & economic security? https://t.co/myZEutrFUz

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YCD Workshops on Economic Inequality

Below is a sampling of workshops YCD has offered at prior conferences and events around the issues of economic inequality. Click on any workshop title to read more about the session, the presenter, and reviews from our participants.

Deconstructing Identity

Marissa Molina speaks to the audience.

What are the components of your identity?  How does this compare to others, and what can we learn by understanding the different components of our identities?  Join this workshop to explore these questions and more in an interactive format.

How to Pay for College Without Going Broke

Students listen intently.

Is paying for college scaring you from applying? Does the financial aid process freak you out? In this session, we will break down it down into simple steps. We will talk about in-state tuition, grants, scholarships and loans, and share some creative ways to save money and pay for college. Learn about common mistakes and hurdles and how to avoid them. Bring your cell phone or laptop or a notepad because you’ll get some websites with resources. This session will cover financial aid options for DACA, Dreamer and undocumented students too.

How to Survive When You Go Homeless

A student listens to a speaker talk about becoming homeless and how to survive.

If you were to go homeless, how would you survive?  What would you include in your backpack? What would you keep and what would you need to leave behind?  Where would you eat and how can you make sure you get nutritional balance?  How would you make friends?

We will teach participants what is involved in homelessness for a deeper understanding of this marginalized and misunderstood population.

Neighboring across Divides

Join this interactive discussion of the economic challenges facing our local community. We’ll review research Homeward Alliance and other organizations have gathered to show the effects of rising living costs, lack of access to living wages, and insufficient mental/physical support. Throughout the workshop, we will engage in open dialogue about where we see ourselves within this socioeconomic spectrum, and how we can act as neighbors to acknowledge, empower, and engage those who may be lost in that scale.

Sports for Everyone

Stereotypes, socioeconomics, and gender equality are all factors that affect our social lives—including sports and athletics. What does acceptance look like in today’s world? We’ll have an engaging discussion on how we all play a role in making athletics and sports inclusive for everyone.

The American Dream: How do You Fit In?

A group of students play a game to understand the challenges facing low-income families.

In this workshop we will explore privilege, and the many levels of privilege that we may have, by playing, “The American Dream” game. After playing the game, students will have a discussion around privilege, how you use it to help yourself and how can you use it to help others.

There is No Racism Problem in America

For the last 25 years Joe Chavez has consistently received excellent ratings from those who attended this workshop.  Here are some reactions:  “Freaking awesome!”  “What an eye-opening experience”  “Turned my life around”  You will hear a brutally honest presentation about racism, stereotypes, bullying, leadership, political correctness, family, education, beliefs and more.  Recommended for those who truly celebrate diversity.

Youth Homelessness in New Mexico

Two students engaged in a discussion.

After an overview of homelessness in New Mexico, we’ll discuss different factors that commonly lead to teens and young people living on the streets.  We then will use role playing and real-life scenarios to consider how we can make a difference in the lives of homeless people we encounter.  Most of all, we’ll talk about shifting everyone’s perspectives to see homeless people as people first.  Inclusion means all of us, including the homeless.

Youth Homelessness: Why are You not at Home?

Two students engaged in a discussion.

Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization that provides full services for youth ages 15-24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. After an overview of homelessness in Colorado, a panel of young people currently experiencing homelessness will share their personal stories about the barriers, struggles, and victories they encounter on a daily basis.  They will also provide suggestions on what you can do to assist teens who may find themselves in similar situations.