Your compassion is making a difference in Douglas County.
Thanks to your generosity to DouglasHasHeart.org, as part of the countywide “Handouts Don’t Help” campaign, a $2,500 donation was presented to the Help and Hope Center during a Douglas County Homeless Initiative meeting April 13 by the Douglas County Community Foundation, manager of the donor-directed fund.
“We know our residents are generous and can often feel conflicted at intersections when they come across someone in need,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, Board Chair and Chair of the Douglas County Homeless Initiative. “Handing money out the window, however, isn’t wise nor safe for the donor nor the recipient, and we know your donations can do more, go further and directly benefit the unhoused in our community when donations are pooled via this fund.”
The Douglas County Homeless Initiative launched the campaign earlier this year to discourage panhandling and encourage donations to the Douglas Has Heart program. The donations directly benefit those in need via local nonprofits like the Help and Hope Center, Family Tree (GOALS), and the Winter Shelter Network. The donation drive is one of the ways Douglas County is working to reduce homelessness through HEART.
HEART stands for Homeless, Engagement, Assistance and Resource Team. It’s a partnership among the County and local law enforcement to connect those experiencing homelessness with resources.
HEART Navigators are subject matter experts, often with experience in behavioral and mental health or case management. They proactively and directly interact with those experiencing homelessness in a compassionate way. They gather information on needs, assess vulnerability, provide complete case management, and make referrals to appropriate community services.
Partnered with law enforcement when safety is a concern, this community approach helps ensure people experiencing homelessness do not end up in emergency rooms or jail, but rather are directed to community services. Already, the partnership has reduced homelessness in Douglas County by 46%.
Learn more about the Douglas County Homeless Initiative online and sign up for email updates. To donate, visit DouglasHasHeart.org and complete your transaction by clicking on the DONATE NOW button, taking you to the Douglas County Community Foundation’s website.