A message from our CEO:
Dear Urban Peak Family,
One of the many privileges of my job is that I get to talk about Urban Peak with community leaders, donors, fellow providers, current and potential volunteers – even young people who themselves cannot fathom what homelessness looks like. I get to speak to our impact, our challenges, our successes, our courageous staff, our resilient youth and the amazing generosity of our community. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell our story.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of the Denver Foundation. The Denver Foundation has long been committed to addressing inequity and promoting inclusiveness for disenfranchised populations. We discussed the fact that an estimated 4.2 million youth experience homelessness annually in our country and on any given night it exceeds 42,000. The risks and trauma faced by these young people are devastating. Their vulnerability is disproportionate compared to homeless adults based on their brain development, risky sexual behavior, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse and mental health disorders.
As we talked about the inequities that the youth at Urban Peak face, Javier pointed out that both systemic and individual change is critical, and working with vulnerable populations in an authentic manner is paramount. I could not agree more.
At Urban Peak, our programs are uniquely tailored to address the challenges that homeless youth face. We work in partnership with youth to identify their individual strengths and future goals to support the objectives of independence and self-sufficiency. Our youth have the opportunity to build trusting relationships with safe adults, often for the first time in their lives. They build community among each other and they set their own path, so they can grow and thrive. It is an honor to support these young people on their journey.
During these challenging times, our programs and, more importantly, our youth continue to demonstrate their resiliency and courage. How do I know?
Since October 1, 2019 Urban Peak has:
- moved 52 youth into supportive housing
- provided over 4,000 hours of case management
- provided education services to over 75 youth
- provided workforce development to 84 youth
- saved our community in excess of $9 million dollars by assisting 230 youth to avoid future chronic homelessness and incarceration
These statistics represent just a snapshot of the impact that Urban Peak has on the courageous youth who walk through our doors, as well as the community as a whole. Urban Peak’s story, our story, reminds me every day that with compassion, guidance and support, positive change and healing can and does happen.
Please consider partnering with us by making a financial donation to our crisis assistance fund to help pay for critical supplies, additional sick leave for our staff, food for our youth and case management in our programs.
Your ongoing generosity towards Urban Peak, our youth, our staff and our story is more essential than ever. We cannot do this work without you. Thank you for holding us in your heart. Thank you for your ongoing donations, notes of encouragement, purchasing items from our Amazon wish list, donating meals and for allowing me to share our story.
Christina Carlson, CEO
Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Our goal is to help these youth overcome real life challenges and become self-sufficient adults.
We do this by providing five essential services at little or no cost to the youth:
- an overnight shelter
- a daytime Drop-In Center
- Street Outreach
- Education & Employment programming
- Supportive housing
Our goal is to meet youth where they are and to provide them with the assistance and support they need to become self-sufficient or obtain the necessary services they need to exit a life on the streets. Urban Peak’s programs and services are founded on the principles of trauma-informed care* and positive youth development and assist youth in reaching their potential and living a successful life off of the streets.
*To provide trauma-informed services means that we understand an individual’s experience of trauma impacts every area of human functioning — physical, mental, behavioral, social, intellectual and spiritual. Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.