Women's Homeless Initiative
Capitol Hill United Ministries


Two years ago a number of CHUM churches and other agencies, sat around a table
wondering what we might be able to do to stem the tide of more and more women being
on the streets and no more resources being offered..  Out of those discussions was
created the Women’s homelessness Initiative

WHI is a consortium of churches working through Capitol Hill UM to give sanctuary and
hospitality every night to women who would be on our streets. What WHI offers is a
chance to have these women - our women  be known, heard and cared for with
compassion, dignity, respect and presence of heart..

We are now completing our 80th  week of operation. In these past 1 ½ years,

We have filled over 9,000 cots with women who most likely would be on the streets or in
other very compromising situations….to find “safety or warmth.”

Over 400 volunteers sharing their time, talent and treasure.

Provided over 9,000 dinners and b-fast bags.
The three goals of WHI:
1.      To serve – because that is what we are called to
2.      To educate – because we must transform the fear we hold toward those on the
streets to seeing them as truly our brothers and sisters.  Through WHI and our churches
we have educated thousands
3.      To advocate – where we can….to make a difference in the lives of those who are
the disenfranchised.  We are called to become a compassionate people.

       There are so many people who make the WHI successful.

1) Agencies: that have done this work for many more years than I.  They have been
dedicated in trying to resolve this issue of our women who have no where to go and are
on our streets.   In particular the SFC has been our main

2 ) Communities and their neighborhood leaders – who have been welcoming and open.

3) We now have 19 Churches working with WHI. They represent a wide continuum from
very liberal to conservative, and they have found common ground in serving those that
need us.

4) Volunteers – over 400 have been trained and give their time, treasure and talent –
coordinating, setting up cots, making meals, offering hospitality, staying overnight, and
washing sheets.  One 80 yr old volunteer washes and massages the feet of our women.



5) Our women –  They are street warriors, whom we are fortunate to serve – and through
whom we all have been transformed.    We have been changed.  We have filled over
8,000 cots, offered 8,000 meals with women who range from mentally ill to lawyers and
teachers.___



Who are these women on the streets?  Some would say they are drug addicts, lazy, and
like this lifestyle.    Some may be that.  But there are those who are not on the streets and
homeless who have those traits…. But also…………….
__________________________________



One is a teacher who worked for 20 years.  Another is a young woman who has cerebral
palsy and was put out on the streets. They range from mothers who have children they no
longer are able to care for to seniors with Alzheimer’s. There are women who have mental
illness and others who have suffered abuse and neglect.  There is a lawyer whose
medical illness took away all her financial support.



These are our sisters – and in a civil society those who are fortunate take the
responsibility to care for those who are the least of us.



These women are our street warriors and they survive – I’m not sure I could.



Our women inspire us to keep putting one foot in front of the other in our attempts to walk
the path .



Process:

1.      8 AM  Sign up at SFC  (wait list) for the coming evening

2.      AM lottery – who gets in

3.      5:30 – they return to get on the vans at SFC and taken to Host Site

4.      Meanwhile at the church – set-up (cots, sheets, blankets, etc.)

5.      6:00 arrival – hospitality team

6.      Rules/expectations

7.      Dinner Team – healthy food 20 women plus volunteers

8.      Sometimes – extras: .art, movie, care dogs, hair, nails, etc.

9.      Overnight Angels

10.   5:30 – 6:00 wake up

11.  Clean up (cots, sheets, etc.)

12.  B-fast bags

13.  7:00 van comes



How you can help:

o  Be courageous and allow a Change of heart and mind about who these women are.

o  Share your time

o  Share your talent

o  PR

o  Help raise funds

o  Make a video

o  Other ideas



o Share your treasure  -

o  Some churches are very poor and are giving from the holes in their pockets. Staff
members are working for free.



Send checks to CHUM/WHI 1100 Fillmore.  Denver Colorado 80206