The Home Front Cares provides emergency and responsive support with one-time grants for Colorado veterans and family members, who, due to unforeseen emergencies, need assistance. It’s an organization in transition, says Executive Director Shawn Kelly. Kelly was hired seven months ago to move the organization forward. Their mission is being rewritten to be more proactive, more than “just housing, so much more than people’s cars breaking down,” he says.
The funds that Home Front Cares receives from the Empty Stocking Fund campaign enable them to give help in emergency situations.
When considering which cases to tackle, Kelly says they try to pick “the good cases” — ones that involve veterans who want to move forward and have a plan to do that. They can move faster than the Veterans Administration and address emergencies without the bureaucracy of some agencies.
The needs of the military community are changing and Home Front Cares wants to stay on top of the new landscape. They are working to expand their mission to address those changes, Kelly says.
The Home Front Cares works through referrals from several community agencies such as Rocky Mountain Human Service, Mount Carmel, Peak Military Care Network and the VA. They also partner with some smaller nonprofits that have a narrower focus but offer unique services. Fifty percent of their cases involve children. They helped 565 children last year. And sixty-six percent of their clients are wounded or disabled.
Kelly says they look to instill “sustainability, stability and purpose” in families they help so that the children can get to school and succeed. “Most of the Empty Stocking money goes toward preventing veteran homelessness,” Kelly says.
“The Empty Stocking Fund is a huge part of our fundraising efforts throughout the year. It’s an incredible support”, says Tony Peck, the agency’s Development Director.
Like many of the agencies in our area, The Home Front Cares has seen an increase in requests for assistance. This August, for the first time, the agency saw its budgeted money run out half way through the month. Rising rent costs, utilities and more veterans moving into the community have resulted in a growing clientele.
“There’s no plan in place when they move here. They just uproot their families.” says Peck.
All the increasing demand makes Home Front Cares’ more focused approach to helping their clients a timely idea.
“The Empty Stocking Fund is a huge part of our fundraising efforts throughout the year. It’s an incredible support.” Tony Peck, development director of The Home Front