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In the 2015 academic year...
Douglas County reported:
910 homeless students
3.5% school-aged children living in poverty
12% qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch
24,685 homeless students
14.9% school-aged children living in poverty
41.8% qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch
Source: Colorado Children’s Campaign
An Evening of Hope will take place Oct. 27 at Spruce Mountain Ranch, 14771 Spruce Mountain Road in Larkspur. Individual tickets are available online at www.eveningofhopes.org for $75. Businesses also can help sponsor the event and raise awareness about their companies.
The event will include dinner, dancing and a live auction. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will contribute to the auction by offering bidders an opportunity to spend time with a segment of its team.
In the past, the office has donated a day with the canine unit, training on the range and a paintball match against the SWAT team.
For information, contact Joe Roos at 720-288-3016.
Kyle Gallup, 20, played football, worked part-time and made lasting friends when he attended Chaparral High School.But he also paid for gas, rent, groceries, electrical bills, and anything needed to help support himself, his mother and his younger brother. The family found themselves homeless during Gallup’s high school years, eventually moving into a friend’s basement.“I had to live the grownup life as a teenager,” Gallup said.But thanks to Hide in Plain Sight, a Douglas County-based nonprofit that provides scholarships to homeless and impoverished youths in Colorado, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which identifies and provides solutions for homeless students, Gallup is a junior at the University of Hawaii, where he is a quarterback for the school’s football team. His mother and brother have also moved into their own house.“I think I have four or five different Sheriff’s cards that they gave me as a kid, to call them if I ever needed anything,” Gallup, who is studying business, said. “They’ve always been supportive of me and my little brother.”To recognize the sheriff’s office’s work with homeless youths, Hide in Plain Sight will honor the department at its second annual gala on Oct. 27 at Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur.“Everyone knows who the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is, but they don’t know the depths of the services they provide,” said Joe Roos, founder of Hide in Plain Sight, who has worked closely with the department since starting his organization in February 2015.“We’re trying to raise awareness in our community about the work that the sheriff’s office does with at-risk students.”Gallup was fortunate, he said, in that he had friends and family to support him, along with sheriff’s office deputies.“We find kids who don’t have money for gas, don’t have money for food, and they’re staying with someone else — these things start to add up very quickly,” said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.“We want to get these kids to a place where they can go home, sleep and have a place to study.”School resource officers have been trained to spot the signs of homelessness and poverty, reach out to students in need, and collaborate with the Douglas/Elbert Taskforce to provide solutions, Spurlock said. The department also contributes to fundraising events and refers students to apply for Hide in Plain Sight’s scholarships.“Just because we live in one of the most affluent counties in the state of Colorado doesn’t mean that we don’t have people doing everything they can just to keep their kids in school,” Spurlock said. “And when we have someone like that, these programs are so important.”That help, along with the three scholarships he has received from Hide in Plain Sight since graduating from high school in 2015, has made a difference in Gallup’s life.“There are people out there who can help,” Gallup said. “I think that’s huge. Especially letting people know that help’s out there — not just parents, but kids, too.”
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