DENVER (CBS4)– The need for donations may be increasing at shelters and supply centers as the City of Denver resumes its urban camping ban and cleanup of homeless encampments. The cleanups resumed this week.
CBS4’s Jacqueline Quynh talked with those at Samaritan House and its donation warehouse manager to find out how the encampment cleanups are affecting them.
“I struggled with a lot of things you know, cause I couldn’t carry a lot of things with me,” Debbie Steins said.
Steins is a volunteer and participant at the Samaritan House, a shelter that helps people in transition.
“I got homeless because my friend died and I wasn’t on the lease,” she said.
Steins explains, because she has a disability, she’s also on a fixed income and it’s simply not enough to afford rent close by in Denver. She was out on the street last September before coming to Samaritan House.
“It’s your feet you know, you’re walking on them constantly.”
In the time she’s had to sleep on sidewalks, she’s learned how important it is to have a good pair of socks. That’s part of the reason she came into the shelter, to stock up on personal goods.
“Just a pair of socks can be the beginning for somebody,” Jennifer Marnowski, Footprints to Recovery specialist said.
This is all part of the reason why, for the third year in a row, Footprints to Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Centennial has organized the “Socks of Love” campaign to collect 10,000 pairs for Samaritan House. And there may not be a greater need for more socks, along with other personal dry goods.
“The thing that we need every day is that freshness,” Robert Bigsby, Catholic Charities Donations Manager said.
Bigsby manages apparel and supplies that are given to the shelter.
“Here we’ve got socks, different sizes, underwear,” Bigsby pointed to the sorted donations.
The need for goods he explained has always been great, now he’s worried about people being displaced by the urban camping enforcement, and how it may drive more people to his shelters, which means, he’ll need even more donations.
“People don’t just decide to be here, sometimes their circumstances bring them here,” Bigsby added.
Of course, some don’t want the help, but people like Steins are grateful.
“The socks mean the world to me,” Steins said.
It’s not too late to donate to the Socks of Love Campaign or drop off donations to the Catholic Charities Donation Center at 2301 Lawrence Street.