Those in need receive more help in 2024
Community compassion continues to make a difference in the lives of people who may have fallen on hard times in Douglas County.
Thanks to donor generosity to DouglasHasHeart.org, as part of the countywide “Handouts Don’t Help” campaign, the Douglas County Community Foundation (DCCF) presented a $2,500 check to SECOR Cares during a Douglas County Homeless Initiative meeting last month. DCCF administers the donor-directed fund, and this is the third donation made as part of this campaign.
In October 2022, municipal and county elected officials, faith-based leadership, law enforcement agencies, and the business community united in the “Handouts Don’t Help” signage campaign that invites a shared approach to panhandling, activating a direct system of support to those in need.
Since then, DCCF has distributed $7,500 to local nonprofits with the ability to help people experiencing homelessness in our community. The first $2,500 donation was to the Help & Hope Center in April 2023, with another $2,500 donation following in July 2023 to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Homeless, Engagement, Assistance and Resource Team (HEART.)
HEART navigators are subject matter experts, often with experience in behavioral and mental health or case management. They proactively and directly interact with people who are experiencing homelessness in a compassionate way. They gather information on needs, assess vulnerability, provide complete case management, and make referrals to appropriate community services.
“We know our residents are generous and can often feel conflicted at intersections when they come across someone in need,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, Chair of the Douglas County Homeless Initiative. “Handing money out the window, however, isn’t wise nor safe for the donor nor the recipient. We’ve seen how your donations can do more and go further to directly benefit the unhoused in our community when donations are pooled via this fund.”
Partnering with law enforcement, this community approach helps ensure public safety while services are provided specific to the needs of the individual.
To donate, visit DouglasHasHeart.org and complete your transaction by clicking on the DONATE NOW button, which takes you to the DCCF website.
Information and photo provided by Douglas County