DenUM meets people in crisis in outreach services, develops self-sufficiency through job services; strengthens the community through advocacy; and fosters awareness and growth through urban education.
Project/Focus: Work sites include, but are not limited to preparing and serving meals for the homeless, sorting donations in a food bank, building, painting or repairing low income housing, nurturing and tending gardens and working with children of economically disadvantaged families, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Urban Education couples a variety of service opportunities with at least one day in which participants focus on common barriers to self-sufficiency. Mission participants meet one or more homeless speakers who are committed to honest, frank discussion about their experiences and observations. DenUM’s experiential learning curriculum brings participants into personal relationship with poverty and urban issues through walking tours, poverty simulations and reflective activities. Through service and education, groups develop an awareness of the stereotypes, misconceptions and ongoing local debates surrounding poverty and homelessness.
Time: Any time of year. One to six days experiences available.
Group Size: 100 maximum per week
Minimum Age: Full Week: 16 Years Old. Half Week: 12 Years Old. One Day/Other: No Minimum. It is preferred that folks ages 12 and under are accompanied by a parent or guardian so they can volunteer at our sites.
Accommodations: DenUM arranges lodging in local churches. Shower and kitchen facilities provided. Groups are responsible for own transportation and food.
Cost: $255 per person per week; $135 per person for a half-week or $85 per person for a week-end; plus a $100 non-refundable fee is required to secure a reservation.
Contact: DOOR Program National Office
430 West 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
Web site: www.DOORnetwork.org
DOOR provides opportunities for service, learning and leadership development within the urban context. Collaboration, mutuality and partnership are emphasized.
Project/Focus: Groups experience the city and learn about it through volunteering at a variety of community agencies already present in the community, including soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Groups stay at facilities in the city, hear a local perspective on the city, use public transportation when available, interact with people of the city and reflect on their experiences.
Educational/Advocacy Components: The program is designed to expose people to the city in a direct way. Evening speakers, group reflection, worship and Bible study challenge people to consider biblical responses to the issues of poverty, racism, and injustice facing the city as they daily live out their authentic Christian faith.
See: California (Hollywood/Los Angeles), Colorado (Denver); Georgia (Atlanta); Illinois (Chicago), and Florida (Miami)
Time: Weeklong available all year. Weekends available in fall, winter, and spring.
Registration deadlines: 10 weeks before trip. If you are interested in coming after the deadline, please call the national office for availability.
Group Size: Groups or combinations of groups totaling 60 participants (summer) and 45 participants (spring/winter/fall).
Minimum Age: 13 - Some sites can accommodate younger participants. Contact national office for information.
Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:5 for high school aged youth; 1:4 for middle school aged youth
Accommodations: Housing is arranged at local churches, either on the floor at the church or on cots. Participants bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. Showers are provided. Visit the Discover section on each city's page for specific information. www.dooretworkk.org/locations.
Cost: Weeklong: $325 per participant, Sunday evening through Friday noon. Covers lodging, all meals from Monday morning to Friday evening except Wednesday evening, and scheduling logistics. Weekend: $130 per participant.
La Puente Home endeavors to meet immediate needs and to empower people to live independently with dignity. In the San Luis Valley over 20% of the population lives at or below the poverty line, more than 25% utilizes emergency food services at least once each year. La Puente provides emergency shelter, food assistance, transitional housing, self-sufficiency services, homeless prevention, community outreach, and job readiness training for the homeless, the hungry and community members living in poverty.
Project/Focus: The project focus is to inspire others to action through service. La Puente offers experiential opportunities to gain perspective, increase empathy, and join in the mission of service. Service days are spent engaging in service learning, cooking and serving meals at the homeless shelter, assisting at the food bank, working in the nutritional education gardens, gleaning on farms for food bank supplies, construction and painting projects, and involvement in the enterprises such as creating a window display at the thrift store.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Staff organize education and reflection activities to help participants understand the value of service and the struggles of life among the marginalized and underserved, specifically in rural areas. Issue areas include: immigration and migrant farming; gender and race; hunger and poverty; mental illness and addiction; legislation and local government; sustainable living, ecology and its larger implications; veterans and homelessness. Resources available at www.lapuente.net/documents/servicelearningtopics.pdf .
Time: Year round
Registration Deadline: No deadline, but summer spots usually fill up around November or December.
Group Size: Up to 15 people
Minimum Age: No minimum age, but please have appropriate supervisors for youth.
Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:6 or 1:7
Accommodations: Participants stay at host churches in the community with showers, kitchens and floor space.
Cost: $25 per person per workday. We ask for a $100.00 donation to the churches for lodging.
Habitat for Humanity builds decent, affordable housing with low-income families who are unable to qualify for conventional mortgages. You will have an incredible experience building Habitat Homes beneath the forever reaching blue skies, embraced by Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains.
Project/Focus: Building Houses & Building Hope by constructing affordable passive-solar mud adobe homes with low-income families in rural Coloarado.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Your group leader will coordinate program. Habitat for Humanity Youth Advocacy Toolkit available at http://www.habitat.org/sites/default/files/youth-united-advocacy-tool-kit.pdf.
Time: Spring-Fall. Please contact us for application and information.
Group Size: Up to 20 people
Minimum Age: High school age, 16 years
Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:4
Accommodations: Projects are located in a beautiful mountain valley surrounded by 14,000 feet peaks. Housing is in local churches that include showers, kitchen and fellowship space.
Cost: $200 per person per week materials fee and $5 per person daily fee as housing donation.
ST. Vrain Habitat for Humanity (Longmont)
Contact: Rebecca Shannon, Volunteer Coordinator
St. Vrain Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 333, Longmont, CO 80502
Phone: 303-682-2485 x 102
The Disaster Event: Flooding and mudslides during September 2013 destroyed 1500 buildings with damage to hundreds more. Over 2400 square miles were affected.
Work Needed: Repair/Rebuild homes impacted by flooding and mudslides.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Preparation for the trip: “Mission Trips That Matter” by Don C. Richter, Upper Room Books.
On-Site Reflection: “Meeting God in the Ruins: Devotions for Disaster Volunteers” Copies will be provided at group housing site. Additional free copies may be ordered from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by calling 800.638.3522 ext. 2580. (ISBN: 6-0001-6788-1); pay shipping only.
Follow up Action: Help your local community prepare for possible disaster and response, be sure your local congregation has a plan in case of a local disaster and get to know your UCC Conference Disaster Coordinator and stay involved.
Time: Long-Term Recovery
Group Size: 20 maximum
Minimum Age: 16;
Youth to adult ratio 5:1
Accommodations: Mission House
Cost: Check with sight for cost