Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre Partner with CITYPAK and High Sierra To Distribute 1000 Backpacks, 8/30
On Friday, August 30 at 10:00 a.m. CITYPAK, led by founder Ron Kaplan, co-founder of international music booking agency Monterey International, and international adventure travel gear specialist High Sierra - with the help of local music industry leaders AEG Live Rocky Mountains, Madison House Inc., Fox Theatre, and Boulder Theater - will distribute 1000 CITYPAK backpacks at The Resource Center (1603 Walnut St. in Boulder), in partnership with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, to those in need.
This distribution marks the first stop for the CITYPAK program outside of its hometown of Chicago. Since CITYPAK began in 2012, the national, music industry-supported initiative, together with manufacturing partners High Sierra, has distributed 2000 packs in Chicago, and in 2013 looks to add several more U.S. cities to its list for community outreach, including this Colorado distribution.
"I visit Boulder/Denver regularly for business and pleasure," say Kaplan. "I come to this community, I take from it, and I want to give back to it. I'm lucky to have a great network of business colleagues in the area who are willing to assist with this important cause." As President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains Chuck Morris, whose company is one of the local music businesses to participate in this Colorado CITYPAK distribution explains, "Giving back, especially to those in such an unfortunate circumstance as homelessness, is something AEG Live Rocky Mountains is honored to help out with."
According to the 2012 Point In Time (PIT) homeless survey conducted by Metropolitan Denver's Homeless Initiative (MDHI):
• There are 1970 homeless people in Boulder County, including children.
• Approximately 750 respondents call the City of Boulder home.
• Of those in Boulder, over 60% report being homeless more than once in the past three years and over 40% have been homeless for more than one year.
• More than 23% of respondents report having a mental illness, and over 22% reported medical and physical conditions.
• More than 30% cite loss of employment and 22% high housing costs as reasons for their homelessness.
For Boulder County Cares (BCC) - the street outreach program of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless that works year round with The Bridge House Resource Center to endorse outcome- oriented homeless services - the primary item that the programs struggle to provide to those in need are backpacks. "Backpacks remain the number one item requested from clients of BCC," explains BCC Program Manager Stephen Milburn. "We tell clients time and again that backpacks are rarely donated to the program and that they will need to improvise with something else, often resulting in a trash bag."
Homeless clients who take advantage of services at the Resource Center - which, by creating a single location to standardize intake and connect people to the resources they need, improves success in moving clients from homeless to housed - will be eligible to earn a CityPak through regular participation during the month of August.Milburn continues, "Quality backpacks remain the most important contribution to the security of a homeless person's items that may otherwise be stolen or lost. We're excited to partner with CITYPAK to provide such a valuable item to those struggling with homelessness in Boulder County."
High Sierra custom designed the CITYPAK backpacks to provide a safe, secure, and convenient way for homeless people to transport belongings. The unique design features room for a large quantity of items, a hide-away poncho designed to keep both the bag and its wearer dry, a synch-top closure for extra waterproofing, a ballistic nylon outer shell strong enough to combat the elements, as well as anti-theft measures.
"High Sierra is proud to partner with Ron on the CITYPAK Project; we look forward to continuing to collaborate on this very worthy cause as it grows to support the homeless living in cities across the country," said Dawn Sicco, Vice President and General Manager, High Sierra.
CITYPAK Distribution Details:
Friday, August 30 @ 10:00 a.m.
The Bridge House Resource Center
1603 Walnut St. Boulder, CO 80302
Boulder, Colorado 80302
A very special thank you to CH Robinson Trucking for transporting all CITYPAKs to the Colorado point of distribution.
About CITYPAK: The CITYPAK Project was founded by lifelong Chicago resident, Ron Kaplan. "I had the idea for the CITYPAK program after seeing that so many people living on the streets have an inadequate means to carrying and protect their belongings," says Kaplan. Ron wanted to create something that would make life on the streets of Chicago a little easier. He shared his idea with High Sierra and soon was meeting with their design team. The goal: to design and provide a useful, high quality backpack for the homeless. As co-founder of international music booking agency Monterey International (Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Trampled by Turtles, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Imelda May, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Keller Williams), today Ron is using his relationships to create a nationwide movement within the entertainment industry to help grow CITYPAK. www.citypak.org