Douglas/Elbert Task Force Finds a New Home
Submitted by Suzanne Greene
There is cause for much celebration at 404 Jerry Street because the Douglas/Elbert Task Force has found a suitable building for their operations and is finally moving out of the cramped quarters it has occupied for many years. It is a timely move for them because their client base is growing daily, and they can no longer store the food needed to provide for their clients.
For over 25 years, the D/E Task Force has been meeting the immediate needs of residents of Douglas and Elbert counties who are in financial distress and at risk of becoming homeless, helping them to work through troublesome times with dignity. In 2009 the D/E Task Force served 14,630 clients, 96 percent of them required food to survive, and over half of those clients were children. In 2009, they distributed $862,974 in client assistance. Food, hygiene and household supplies amounted to $522,031, 30 percent more than in 2008.
Storage in the current Food Bank location is limited. The move to the new location at 1638 N. Park Street in Castle Rock will more than double the size of the facility. This will enable the D/E Task Force to increase their monthly purchase from the Food Bank of the Rockies and allow them to make much better use of their purchasing budget, because they will have the space to store the items they use most frequently. In the past, getting food into and out of the food bank was treacherous. Now the donors, volunteers, and clients will have much safer access to the Food Bank because it will be located on the ground level of the new building.
In addition to the increased Food Bank area, the new building will provide a more comfortable place for D/E Task Force clients and a much-needed children’s area. The Thrift Store, which will move to its new location later, will have abundant space, enabling the D/E Task Force to take more donations and earn more revenue to provide for their clients needs.
The services that the D/E Task Force provides are increasingly important in the current economy. Families come to the D/E Task Force each day that are struggling to make ends meet, and frequently the services provided save them from going over the edge. In addition to the Food Bank, the D/E Task Force provides housing, utility, and transportation assistance, and clients may “shop” for free in the Thrift Store for clothing, shoes, household items, and furniture. All these services will be bettered in the new location.
The D/E Task Force will begin the move to their new location in March with volunteers assisting in all stages of the move including cleaning, lots of painting, packing, unpacking, disassembling, and reassembling Food Bank shelves, stocking the food bank, and basic renovation, just to name a few. The move will be made in increments, beginning with the office and Food Bank services, and eventually moving the Thrift Store operation at a later date.
The D/E Task Force is a nonprofit organization. They feed, clothe, and assist in myriad ways, the at risk residents of Douglas and Elbert counties. Your donations of money, food and time are always welcome and appreciated. Remember – To delay may mean to forget.
Chris Coleman, Board Member
Douglas/Elbert Task Force