DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s first Giving Summit took place this week. It gave different organizations that work with those in need in the city a chance to compare notes and better improve the services they provide.
“(We want to figure out) how can we respond better as a community to meet basic needs of people and deepen our engagement on issues,” said Chris Conner, a spokesman for Denver’s Road Home which helps those struggling with homelessness.
The current estimate is that over 5,000 people that are suffering from homelessness in the Denver area.
“It’s incredibly hard — life on the street — and it takes a toll on everything, from the way they can land a job to their health,” said Rev. Jerry Herships of the After Hours Denver Church.
Working together allows the organizations to make sure all needs are met in the community. Some groups who give out food wanted to make sure they aren’t handing it out at the same time as another group. Others wanted to make sure they aren’t doubling up on services provided.
Another goal of the Giving Summit was to help people who contribute to the various nonprofits better understand how much of a difference they actually make.
“Some people give money, other people give time. Other people give things like food and gloves,” Conner said.
“It’s the beginning to a relationship (between the person donating and the organization). That’s what’s really needed to sustain the people who are enduring … homelessness or housing insecurity.”
Herships said sometimes giving starts with just a smile and a conversation. Many people who are homeless can really get a boost when people stop to talk to them.
“The simplest things can make a huge impact,” he said.