The Douglas/Elbert Task Force
The Douglas/Elbert Task Force is a 501(c)3 non-profit human service organization dedicated to providing assistance to people in Douglas and Elbert counties who are in serious economic need, at risk of homelessness, or in a similar crisis. We address immediate needs by consistently providing food and other necessities for homeless, low income and the working poor people in our community. We meet these challenges with over 200 volunteers, three full-time and eleven part-time staff.
People who are in crisis operate under incredible stress. Having a calm, warm, quiet place to come, and being greeted and made welcome by a smiling volunteer immediately diffuses some of that stress. For the kids, we provide an airy, quiet space with room for them to play safely. Having the opportunity to be listened to and to be heard by staff who not only understand but who can often make a difference that day is an incredible relief, particularly for clients with children. We go through many, many boxes of tissues, and hugs are given liberally at the Task Force.
Brief History: in 1984, local parishioners of several Castle Rock churches joined forces to create a centralized location to send people in need. The founders also wanted to encourage volunteerism by providing opportunities for the members of their congregations to become directly involved with the needs in their communities.
2015 Impact Statistics
- In 2015 the Task Force provided 15,755 community members with $1,420,729 of direct and in-kind client assistance, a 19.8% increase from 2014.
- The Task Force addresses the issues that affect community members who are unemployed, underemployed, on fixed incomes, disabled, and elderly. Task Force staff members provide quality screening, one-on-one counseling, effective service delivery, and meaningful referrals for all clients.
- The Task Force currently has three full-time and eleven part-time employees. In addition, over 200 Task Force volunteers are critically important to the organization.
- In 2015, Task Force volunteers provided 42,234 hours of service, the equivalent of 20 full-time staff.
- In 2015, revenues from Treasures on Park Street were $399,650 – revenue that helped support our clients!
The major services the Task Force provides are:
- Food and Toiletries: In 2015 the Task Force distributed $1,032,804 in food, hygiene, and household supplies. A total of 600,467 lbs. of food were distributed. Approximately 82% of agency clients receive these basic services.
- The Task Force also conducts two off-site food banks monthly at low-income senior housing units, providing food/hygiene assistance to senior citizens in need.
- Housing Assistance: The Task Force provided $52,424 in rent assistance for 210 households in 2015. The Task Force assists clients who present eviction notices with up to $250 in financial assistance in order to prevent homelessness, and to help clients with security deposits to obtain new living arrangements.
- Utility Assistance: The agency provided $132,250 in utility assistance (heat, electric, water) to clients with shut-off notices in 2015 (389 unduplicated households, some needing help with multiple utility bills).
- Emergency Overnight Lodging: The Task Force provided $17,652 in assistance (480 nights of lodging) in 2015. In conjunction with the Police and Sheriff’s Departments, the Task Force provides vouchers for emergency lodging for homeless or transient individuals and families.
- Clothing, Household Items: The Task Force distributed items from Treasures on Park Street in 2015 valued at $119,010. Clients may shop for free in the thrift store for clothing, shoes, household items, and furniture.
- ID Documentation: The Task Force assists clients in securing the documentation needed for housing applications, school, and social services, including Colorado State IDs, birth certificates, etc. The agency also assists with GED fees.
- Information and Referral: Staff and volunteers make thousands of referrals connecting clients to other agencies and resources in order to provide long-term solutions to problems.
- Santa’s Sharing and Birthdays: Community members, organizations, and the D/ETF sponsor families for the holidays, providing gift cards and toys. Parents may use our Toy Chest (Birthday Room) year round if they cannot afford birthday gifts for their children, or if their child needs a new gift in order to attend another child’s birthday party.
- Our thrift store, Treasures on Park Street, accepts donations of new and gently used merchandise for resale. Proceeds of Treasures on Park Street help fund our programs and support our community.
- Volunteer Program: Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Task Force, and over 200 dedicated volunteers serve in various positions throughout the agency, including the food bank, thrift store, client services, office, Board of Directors, fundraising and special projects. New volunteers receive safety and orientation training at monthly meetings, and all volunteers are honored at special volunteer events throughout the year.