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
About High Sierra: Founded in 1978, High Sierra is known worldwide for creating reliable adventure gear for the real world. Acquired by Samsonite International SA in 2012, High Sierra's growing collection of value-driven designs includes spacious daypacks for work and school; trail friendly backpacks including hydration and high volume rolling duffels. High Sierra is proud to be the Official Bags supplier to the U.S. Ski, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams.
About the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless / Boulder County Cares: The Boulder Shelter's mission is to provide safe shelter, food, support services, and an avenue to self-sufficiency for homeless adults in our community. At this time, Boulder County Cares (BCC) operates as the street outreach program of the Boulder Shelter utilizing trained volunteers that canvass the community, from October thru April, every evening between 5-10pm. The intention of BCC is to assure that homeless in Boulder County have the life-sustaining supplies available (blankets, backpacks, boots, jackets, gloves, hats, and sleeping bags), transportation to local care providers, and referrals to other community service agencies in order to combat Colorado's threatening winter conditions.
The BCC program has remained completely volunteer run since its establishment in 1996. Last season (2011-2012) BCC made contact with homeless over 5,500 times, and on average contacts 35 homeless adults each evening. Throughout the 2011-2012 season BCC distributed more than 1,600 blankets, over 500 sleeping bags, more than a 1,000 jackets, in addition to many other dignifying items such as hats, gloves, scarves, socks and underwear. www.bouldershelter.org
About The Bridge House: The Bridge House plays a crucial role in addressing homelessness in Boulder, Colorado. The Bridge House programs are open year-round and provide basic-need services Monday through Friday between 9am-3pm. The Bridge House launched the Resource Center in October of 2012 to make services for the homeless more accessible.
The focus of the Resource Center is to endorse outcome-oriented services that stabilize people and help them access the resources they require to leave the streets behind. By creating a single location to access resources from existing services available in Boulder, clients can improve their ability to attain the needed assistance to move out of homelessness. The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless cooperates with this project by staffing a Shelter specialist at the Resource Center during their operating hours to inform clients of services that the Shelter provides and how/when to access those services. www.boulderbridgehouse.org