Your compassion continues to make a difference in the lives of people who may have fallen on hard times 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 SECOR Cares during a Douglas County Homeless Initiative meeting Thursday, Jan. 11, by the Douglas County Community Foundation, manager of the donor-directed fund. This is the third donation made as part of this campaign.
In October 2022, your municipal and county elected officials, faith-based leadership, law enforcement agencies, and 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, you’ve contributed a total $7,500 to local nonprofits that can 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 HEART. This week’s donation is the third. “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.”
The donations directly benefit those in need via local nonprofits like the Help and Hope Center, Family Tree (GOALS), and the HEART team. 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 people 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 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.
Partnering with law enforcement, this community approach helps ensure public safety while services are provided specific to the needs of the individual.