Douglas/Elbert Task Force

MISSION STATEMENT: The Douglas/Elbert Task Force is a 501(c) (3) human service organization whose mission is to meet the immediate needs of residents of Douglas and Elbert counties who are in financial distress and/or at risk of becoming homeless, to help them work through troublesome times with dignity.

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Organizational Overview

Name
Douglas/Elbert Task Force
Phone
303-688-1114
Address
1638 Park Street
Castle Rock, CO 80109
EIN
74-2395223
Website
www.detaskforce.org
Email
info@detaskforce.org
Former
Names
(2007)Task Force of Douglas County
Mission
Statement
MISSION STATEMENT: The Douglas/Elbert Task Force is a 501(c) (3) human service organization whose mission is to meet the immediate needs of residents of Douglas and Elbert counties who are in financial distress and/or at risk of becoming homeless, to help them work through troublesome times with dignity.
Social
 

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.

Principal Programs Include:
a. Food and Toiletries: In 2015 the D/ETF distributed $1,032,804 in food, hygiene, and household supplies. 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.
b. Housing Assistance: D/ETF 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.
c. 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).
d. Emergency Overnight Lodging: The Task Force provided $17,652 in assistance (480 nights of lodging) in 2015. D/ETF, in conjunction with the Police and Sheriff's Departments, provides vouchers for emergency lodging for homeless or transient individuals and families.
e. Clothing, Household Items: D/ETF 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.
f. 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.
g. 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.
h. 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.
i. Volunteer Program: Volunteers provided 42,234 hours of service in 2015, the equivalent of 20 full-time staff. Volunteers are the lifeblood of D/ETF, 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.

The Task Force has been recognized by the community as the Best Consignment/Thrift Store and the Best Nonprofit for 2016.

Background Statement

In 1984, Castle Rock churches joined forces to create a centralized location to send people in need, and to encourage volunteerism by providing opportunities for their congregations to become directly involved with their community. Mrs. Mela Rudolph, the organization's founder, began by setting up an emergency assistance center in her garage. As the community grew, the agency expanded to begin serving residents of Douglas County, and later Elbert County. For 31 years, the Douglas/Elbert Task Force has worked to provide and expand services to community residents who are most in need.

Needs Statement

We are dedicated to improving service delivery to clients. With the move to a larger facility in 2010, the agency has expanded the scope of its programs. Planning efforts focus on making the best use of the facility, and continuing to grow collaborative relationships within the community in order to help clients access all available resources that will assist them as they move toward self-sufficiency. Our greatest need is for continued financial support and donations to maintain our food bank, which feeds over 80% of our clients.

Receiving food from the Food Bank that would ordinarily come out of a food budget allows our clients to put that money toward paying other expenses - utilities, rent, prescriptions, or even gas for the family car. Receiving food from the Food Bank means that children go to bed with a full stomach and wake up to a healthy breakfast at least one week a month. With over 80% of our clients receiving food, addressing this need is our priority.

Food insecurity is particularly hard on the elderly who are living on fixed incomes and have mobility and transportation issues. One of our main areas of concern is meeting the needs of our senior clients by providing special foods such non-sugar items for our diabetic clients, small meals, and meal supplements such as Ensure and Glucerna. We provide "Depends" and other toiletry items for seniors such as toilet paper, Kleenex, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, and denture cream. These items, rarely donated, are purchased with money from our general fund. Douglas County is experiencing tremendous growth in the aging population with households living on fixed incomes and experiencing high health costs. By the year 2030, seniors are projected to be approximately 20% of the total County population. (Source: Douglas County Planning Office- Pop. & Dev. Report, updated March, 2014).



Impact Statement

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 D/ETF 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. Principal Programs Include:
a. Food and Toiletries: In 2015 the D/ETF distributed $1,032,804 in food, hygiene, and household supplies. 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.
b. Housing Assistance: D/ETF 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.
c. 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).
d. Emergency Overnight Lodging: The Task Force provided $17,652 in assistance (480 nights of lodging) in 2015. D/ETF, in conjunction with the Police and Sheriff's Departments, provides vouchers for emergency lodging for homeless or transient individuals and families.
e. Clothing, Household Items: D/ETF 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.
f. 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.
g. 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.
h. 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.
i. Volunteer Program: Volunteers provided 42,234 hours of service in 2015, the equivalent of 20 full-time staff. Volunteers are the lifeblood of D/ETF, 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.

As D/ETF continues to provide a safety net for residents of Douglas and Elbert Counties, the agency is also working to achieve long-term solutions to the problems facing these individuals and families:

• D/ETF conducts two off-site food banks monthly at low-income senior housing units, providing approximately $27,360 of food/hygiene assistance per year to senior citizens in need.

• D/ETF also has a signed MOU with The Crisis Center (TCC), an agency that refers clients who are victims of abuse to D/ETF. Crisis Center Clients are given vouchers to shop free of charge in our thrift store to obtain clothing and necessities that they need but were forced to leave behind when fleeing a domestic violence situation. TCC clients can also receive funding for identification documents.

• The Task Force refers select clients to Douglas County's Community of Care Navigator for more intensive counseling, helping clients achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. The Community of Care, a collaborative group of organizations and individuals, provides an opportunity for all community members in Douglas County to thrive.

• D/ETF collaborates with corporate donors, including Target, Safeway, WalMart, King Soopers, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks, Chipotle, and other local restaurants and churches. The Task Force also collaborates with Food Bank of the Rockies, the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Catholic Charities, 9Cares Colorado Shares, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, several local Rotary groups, and other service organizations.

• The Task Force is also collaborating with the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). CALF is donating fresh produce from their working farm to the D/ETF.

Executive Director Statement

The Douglas/Elbert Task Force is one of only a few emergency services organizations serving clients in Douglas and Elbert counties. We are unique in that we provide immediate relief to clients who need assistance. Clients visiting our agency usually leave with something tangible - such as food, clothing, household goods, and assistance with utility and/or rent payments. We also offer help with one-time requests, such as GED fees, work clothing, and books for adults returning to school. We work closely with the Castle Rock Police and Douglas County Sheriff Department which provide Task Force vouchers to homeless and transient clients who require overnight lodging. We also receive referrals from The Crisis Center for victims of domestic violence, and often provide funds for changing locks, long-distance transportation and identification documentation.

Collaboration plays a very important part of our work: we are fortunate to work in a community where human service agencies partner to provide services to clients. We actively participate with Douglas County Cares, a multi-agency partnership which provides opportunities for vulnerable residents to obtain self-sufficiency.

D/ETF is dedicated to improving service delivery to clients. With the move to a larger facility in 2010, the agency has expanded the scope of its programs. Planning efforts focus on making the best use of the facility, and continuing to grow collaborative relationships within the community in order to help clients access all available resources that will assist them as they move toward self-sufficiency. Through D/ETF planning efforts, in addition to pro-bono work and community donations, the agency has been able to address many of the remaining renovations needed in the new facility, completing energy efficient measures and improvements to reduce utility bills, and installing a sprinkler system to bring the facility up to current code. Additional funds were secured to renovate an unused space on the west side of the building. The suite houses a new client services area, increasing the agency's ability to serve more than one client at a time with greater privacy.

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. 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.

Our mission is, in part, to help clients work through troublesome times with dignity. That ideal is always at the forefront of the work we do here. Clients find "Help & Hope Here!" everyday. Thank you for your support and please come visit us and see us at work!

With gratitude,

The Douglas/Elbert Task Force
Executive Director

Board Chair/President Statement

Having to use the services of a food bank is not what most of us dream of doing after retirement. The lady who handled my case was absolutely delightful. She put me at ease and walked me through each step making sure I understood how the system worked and what was expected of me. She could not have done more to make this as painless as possible. Thank you and all the folks working with you to help those who really need help in the community, and doing so in a professional and caring manner.
Mr. S.D.
Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.

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