United Church of Christ


 St. Francis Center [SFC] (Denver)

Contact: Susan Vaho, Urban Education Manager
   2323 Curtis Street
   Denver, CO 80205
E-Mail:  susanv@sfcdenver.org
Phone: 303.960-2992
Web site:  www.sfcdenverurbaned.org

St.Francis Center:  is a refuge for men and women who are homeless in the metro Denver area, providing shelter along with services that enable people to meet their basic needs for daily survival and to transition out of homelessness. 

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: SFC Urban Education offers groups of all ages the opportunity to learn, serve, and create hope in the vibrantly multicultural and urban community of Denver. Each experience can be fully customized to meet the needs of your group, and is appropriate for people of all ages. Whether working with us for a day, weekend, half-week, or full week, all participants will have the opportunity to volunteer in areas where they feel compelled and to learn about topics that interest them. All Urban Education experience allow for groups to dig deep, to inspire conversations about what homelessness and poverty looks like, to change attitudes and understandings

Time: Any time of year.  One to six days experiences available.

Group Size: 40 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: SFC 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. 

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Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) (Denver)

Contact: DOOR Program National Office
   430 West 9th Avenue
   Denver, CO 80204
Phone: 303.295.3667
Fax: 303.892.6106
Web site: www.doornetwork.org/locations

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. 

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La Puente Home, Inc. (Alamosa)

Contact: Shanae Diaz
  317State Ave., P.O. Box 1235
  Alamosa, CO  81101
Phone:  719.587.3499
Fax:  719.587.0810
Web site:  www.lapuente.net

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. 

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Habitat for Humanity, San Luis Valley (Alamosa)

Contact: Audrey Liu
    P.O. Box 1197
    Alamosa, CO 81101
Phone: 719.589.8678
Web site:

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 the Rocky Mountains.  

Project/Focus:  Building Houses & Building Hope by constructing affordable passive-solar homes with low-income families in rural Coloarado.

Educational/Advocacy Components:  Your group leader will coordinate program.  Habitat for Humanity Youth Advocacy Toolkit is available at https://www.habitat.org/volunteer/near-you/youth-programs/resources.

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: $235 per person per week materials fee and housing donation.

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