A Blackbird Outreach fundraiser auction is unlike any other.
Replacing the familiar nonprofit-gala bidding for European trips and formal dinner parties was a "Fund a Need" paddle raising for tarps, tents, sleeping bags, safe Heater Buddy systems, propane tanks, emergency hotel vouchers and outdoor survival packages.
Volunteers and supporters of the Blackbird Outreach team gathered with council officers from homeless camps for a "Without a Roof" event April 18 at Cliff House at Pikes Peak. Providing toe-tapping musical entertainment was Tejon Street Corner Thieves.
In the words of co-Executive Director Trygve "Trig" Bundgaard, the evening was about showing "how best to serve as voices of the voiceless on the streets."
It was also time to celebrate "being on an incredible journey, on the cusp of exciting things" with an emergency village task force and strategic plan in place. "We're pushing for a legal camp," Bundgaard said.
Blackbird Outreach (blackbirdoutreach.org) works "to help our friends outside stabilize," Bundgaard said. This outreach-action effort grew out of the Coalition for Compassion and Action activist/advocacy group.
Attorney Greg Walta was honored as a "Fearless Fighter." He said, "We fill potholes. We deal with stormwater issues. Let's get real about homelessness." When he drives around town, said Walta, the increase in homelessness makes him sad. "It didn't use to be this way."