A winter gala? It’s a No Go
By Amanda Merriman
How many times have you committed to attend a fancy event and then thought to yourself, “I would pay someone to let me NOT go to the party”? Well, here is your opportunity to do just that …
Joseph Roos, founder and executive director of Hide in Plain Sight (HIPS) would like to formally invite the Castle Pines community to join in the inaugural “Winter No Go Gala” this February. During the month of February, No Go Gala participants can help brighten the future of homeless students in Douglas County by visiting the HIPS website and making a donation, foregoing the expense of buying an extravagant dress and/or renting a tuxedo and then spending a large sum of money on a lavish meal. Instead, stay home and enjoy time with family, all the while being philanthropic and helping homeless youth in Douglas County.
In Douglas County, homelessness is a challenge that is faced by a significant portion of its population. Although Douglas County reportedly has the lowest percentage of children’s poverty state wide, since 2007 the county has had the largest increase in children’s poverty. Every school in the county has homeless students in attendance. In fact, for the last three years there have been more than 900 homeless students enrolled in Douglas County schools. Additionally, every year 10-13 percent of Douglas County students participate in free or reduced lunch programs. According to Roos, the need for assistance will continue to increase as the population in Douglas County is projected to grow from approximately 67,000 to 128,000 by 2040. Thus, the continued need of assistance for these students is evident.
This reality is what inspired Roos, who previously served as director of philanthropy for the Douglas/Elbert Task Force, to create HIPS in 2015. Through HIPS, Roos seeks to raise awareness about homeless students in Douglas County and to provide funding to break the cycle of poverty. HIPS does this by granting scholarships to high school seniors and by providing funding to local agencies within the community that provide utility, housing, and food assistance to families in need. HIPS has experienced great success in its first year, granting scholarships to three of the 86 homeless seniors graduating in 2015. Roos’ vision for HIPS in 2016 is to expand services to the metro-area with a long-term goal of assisting homeless students across the state.
Roos noted that for 2016, HIPS has budgeted for 85-90 percent of donated funds to go directly toward helping homeless students. This financial stewardship extends to its virtual Winter No Go Gala. Supporters can give to a local cause, knowing the tax-deductible donations will not be going toward unnecessary extravagances. Additionally, by participating in the No Go Gala, your donations will help support the 1:1 matching grant application to the State of Colorado.
Roos encourages Castle Pines residents to visit hideplainsight.org this month to make a donation and support the No Go Gala.