Help UPO Help the DC Homeless

by United Planning Organization
Help UPO Help the DC Homeless
Help UPO Help the DC Homeless
Help UPO Help the DC Homeless
Help UPO Help the DC Homeless

The United Planning Organization (UPO) was presented the Award for Excellence in Community Action at the Community Action Partnership’s 2018 National Convention. The award’s peer-reviewed standards are modeled on the principles of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, which is designed to improve organizations’ competitiveness and performance. In the 15-year history of the Award for Excellence, only 12 agencies (out of a possible 1200) have achieved this standard.

When we feel our best, we can do and be our best. UPO’s Shelter Hotline team connects with homeless DC residents transporting them to shelter and providing them with comfort items and support they need. No one should be forced to live out on the street, especially during extreme weather conditions. As DC’s one and only provider of transportation services for the homeless, Shelter Hotline helps bring people without a place to live to local shelters—no matter the time of year. We also provide those in need with clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and other items that can help them feel a bit more comfortable. Concerned community members are encouraged to look out for homeless individuals and families in their neighborhood and call to have them transported to the comfort and care of a nearby facility. Shelter Hotline services are available every day of the year in Washington DC at 800-535-7252 or 202-399-7093.

UPO’s Shelter Hotline program is funded through grant funds provided by the DC Department of Human Services. The Comfort items we provided for our homeless customers are funded by your generous donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC Homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

Our challenge has always been how do we make a budget pay for the comfort items needed. During the past several months we have been encouraging our donors to please consider a monthly recurring donation to provide a continuous flow of funds for all of the things we want to do for our Homeless customers? An inflow of recurring donations will help UPO set a budget for purchasing the comfort items we distribute to the Homeless and plan better for future needs. We have seen a small increase in recurring donations but we need more support!

Global Giving 100% MATCHING CAMPAIGN on new monthly donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless will be continuing to run until December 31, 2019. They will match your first month's gift 100% to jump start your impact. Please consider committing $5, $10, $25 or even $50 monthly in support of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

Receiving more monthly support will enable us to spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on the work of love we do to taking care of our customers’ needs.

See the attached Report of Comfort Items distributed to Homeless Customers by Shelter Hotline in FY 18.


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The 2019 Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Washington DC, see report attached, shows a drop in the number of homeless in DC to 6,521 persons. This is a drop of 12.74% compared to the PIT count of 7,473 persons in 2017. This encouraging progress in our fight to eliminate homelessness is a reflection of the effort on the part of the DC government and several private agencies, including UPO, to deal effectively with the plight of the city’s homeless population and work on providing low-income housing to get the homeless population off the streets and homeless shelters into permanent housing.

United Planning Organization’s Shelter Hotline represents the entry point, assisting homeless folks off the street, transporting them to homeless shelters and providing them with comfort items. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Winter and summer our vans are seen throughout DC distributing food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your generous donations, in support of the homeless. During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day transporting homeless individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers. UPO Shelter Hotline save lives! Shelter Hotline Statistics during the past year:

  • 5,478 customers transported
  • 53,905 comfort items distributed
  • 63,997 phone calls received and processed
  • 186,416 trips provided to homeless customers
  • 397,544 shelter nights utilized by homeless customers

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

Our challenge is how do we make a budget pay for all of the things we want to do for our Homeless customers? A monthly giving subscription can really take your impact to the next level. A recurring donation will help UPO set a budget for purchasing the comfort items we distribute to the Homeless and plan better for future needs.

GlobalGiving has recently announced a 100% MATCHING CAMPAIGN on new monthly donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless. They will match your first month's gift 100% to jump start your impact. Please consider committing $5, $10, $25 or even $50 monthly in support of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

Receiving more monthly support will enable us to spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on the work of love we do to taking care of our customers’ needs.

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“Incredible people" drive in bone-chilling cold helping  homeless!

When DC activated a Cold Emergency Alert on Feb 6, 2019, Fox5 reporter Josh Rosenthal wanted a compassionate lead story. He interviewed UPO Shelter Hotline outreach worker Vincent Blackson, whose kindness is in his blood: Blackson’s father held the same job. See Josh Rosenthal’s report in the attached video.

UPO Shelter Hotline represents the entry point assisting homeless folks off the streets of DC, transporting them to Homeless Shelters and providing them with comfort items. A 2018 Point-in-Time Count of Homeless Persons in DC found that there were 6,904 homeless people in Washington DC on a single night.

Winter and summer over 40 dedicated UPO Shelter Hotline employees communicate with shelters to coordinate transportation services for recently displaced individuals and families. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Last year we provided 186,416 rides. Our vans are seen throughout the District distributing blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your donations, to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless. During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day during the winter and summer months transporting individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers, literarily helping to save lives.

UPO’s mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated community action agency for DC, UPO services DC homeless through our programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. Our Workforce Institute provides free job skills training and job placement services preparing individuals for a journey to opportunity, success, and the future they deserve!

As we help the homeless to self-sufficiency, we believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted. Please donate a “Little” to our Little by Little Matching Campaign.

From April 8-12, GlobalGiving will match donations up to $50 at 50%, with $50,000 in matching funds available. UPO through the tremendous support of our donors has earned GG Superstar Reward Status and will be awarded an additional 10% match on eligible donations!

This will be our week to celebrate the power of the crowd and demonstrate that small donations add up to BIG change! See how much your gift of up to $50 can help! A gift of $50, will earn a $30 match, becoming $80!

So please take a moment to renew your support of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless by making a “Little” donation to our Little by Little Matching Campaign, which will run from 9:00 am EDT on Monday, April 8, 2019, to 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, April 12, 2019.

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The record-breaking cold snap during the last week of January, which brought many US cities, including DC to a standstill, finally ended on February 2, 2019. Residents breathed a sigh of relief as temperatures rose to a “balmy” mid-40s and low 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Even better, that same day, world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, which means that spring is a mere six weeks away! While Phil may have proclaimed the end of winter on Groundhog Day, weather forecasters say it's a bit premature for much of the country. Spring weather will take its time to arrive in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes, with the chance for snow as late as mid-March in Washington DC. See Phil making his prediction at link attached.

The 2018 Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Washington DC, see report attached, shows a drop in the number of homeless in DC of 7.6% to 6,904 persons, which is most encouraging. This is a reflection of the effort on the part of the DC government and several private agencies, including UPO, to deal effectively with the plight of the city’s homeless population and work on providing low-income housing to get the homeless population off the streets and homeless shelters into permanent housing.

UPO Shelter Hotline represents the entry point assisting homeless folks off the street, transporting them to homeless shelters and providing them with comfort items. Winter and summer over 40 dedicated UPO Shelter Hotline employees communicate with shelters to coordinate transportation services for displaced individuals and families. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Our vans are seen throughout DC distributing food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your generous donations in support of the homeless.  During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day during the winter and summer months transporting homeless individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers. UPO Shelter Hotline helps to save lives.

Shelter Hotline Statistics during the past year:

  • 5,478 customers transported to shelters
  • 186,416 trips provided to homeless customers
  • 397,544 shelter nights utilized by homeless customers
  • 63,997 phone calls received and processed
  • 53,905 comfort items distributed

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

To date Help UPO Help the DC Homeless has raised $23,298 towards our goal of $25,000 from 370 donations. We are pleased to report that during the past 12 months we raised $6,711 from 94 donations, a record average of $71 per donation. With our work far from over we have decided to raise our goal by $5,000 to $30,000. Please join us in meeting the challenge of raising an additional $6,702 by December 31, 2019!

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Following the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday gift shopping for family and friends, tomorrow on #GivingTuesday November 27th you have the opportunity to slow down and make a meaningful gift to a wonderful program that benefits the unfortunate homeless population of Washington, DC.

While many of us have protection from the elements, from icy conditions to searing heat in the summer, the homeless do not. UPO helps the DC homeless in several ways throughout the year. With a rise in DC homeless, the UPO Shelter Hotline vans transported 155,476 people to shelter last year. Help UPO Help the DC Homeless raises money for comfort items distributed to the homeless people assisted by Shelter Hotline.

Driving a Shelter Hotline van is a tedious job but a recent Washington Post article profiles one our drivers, who shares his experiences, memories and passion for helping DC’s homeless. The driver calls some of the men by name. Sometimes he uses a nickname — like “Champ” or “Red” — to set them at ease. And when each passenger gets off the bus — back at a homeless shelter after a day on D.C.’s gentrifying streets — he wishes them well with an honorific they rarely hear elsewhere: “Have a good night, gentlemen!” He is not the face of Mayor of DC’s efforts to decrease the high homelessness rate in the nation’s capital. Nor is he a main force behind getting his riders out of the shelters and into their own homes. Instead, he is a one-man generator of small acts of kindness, driven by his own memories of tough times in his native North Carolina and his early years in Washington, D.C.

As a past supporter of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless your support has been invaluable in helping to cover the cost of the comfort items for the homeless, from feminine items to care packages, water, food trays and protective clothing. #GivingTuesday is an opportunity for you to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless start the year-end fundraising season off right, our host platform GlobalGiving is releasing $150,000 in matching funds over a 24-hour period on #GivingTuesday.

Our hope is that this match opportunity will give you our loyal supporter an incentive to generously support the change you’re making in the world. The cold spell experienced in DC earlier in November has resulted in several hypothermia alerts and the D.C. winter outlook 2018-2019 is predicting snowier than normal conditions for the first time in three years. Your donation will Help UPO Help the DC Homeless raise money for the increased need for comfort items to be distributed to the homeless people assisted by Shelter Hotline.

See the attached article from the Washington Post on Tuesday 11/13/18 about the D.C. winter outlook for 2018-2019.

Please be sure to make your #GivingTuesday gift to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless tomorrow Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018, between 12:01am and 11:59pm.

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Organization Information

United Planning Organization

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @UPOinDC
Project Leader:
Mervyn Myers
Washington, DC United States
$48,484 raised of $55,000 goal
 
740 donations
$6,516 to go
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