The Gathering Place in Denver works to combat poverty and homelessness in marginalized communities through robust programming. The center works to not only meet basic needs, but also give members the skills and resources they need to get back on their feet again. Founded in 1986, the center remains committed to serving women, children, transgender and non-binary people. “We really focus on serving these communities in a trauma-informed and community-forward way,” says Kelly Tobin, Business Relations Manager. “We are purposeful with the communities we serve because we see that the challenges they face are unique. It is our priority to make people feel safe and find stability in their lives.”
The center’s basic needs program includes meals, a pantry, a family program, showers, laundry, phone and mail access, a nap room, additional clothing, community resources and mental and physical health help in addition to the overnight shelter. Their programs for fostering personal growth include high school equivalency courses, job readiness preparations, a computer lab and case management program. The programs go above and beyond to empower members to increase their earning potential through educational learning and skill-building opportunities.
Lastly, their peer recovery program works toward building community by discussing issues such as mental illness, trauma and substance abuse together and working toward individual and group solutions. “We want to make sure we are not just meeting those basic needs, but looking at the whole person and making sure their mental and physical health needs are met, that they have stable, longterm, affordable housing. We have an art therapist, a survivor’s group and a talking circle for Indigenous Americans and much more.”
While The Gathering Place loves welcoming new members, their favorite thing to do is say goodbye to members leaving after getting back on their feet. “We had a recent success story with a member named Feletcia. She had lost three of her four jobs during the pandemic and experienced homelessness for her second time in Denver. After staying at our shelter for 84 days, applying to nine jobs and meeting with her case manager to find stable housing 69 times, she got a job and a house.” To help The Gathering Place’s efforts, head to tgpdenver.org to volunteer your time or expertise or donate money or supplies.