FUND HOMELESS LOCKER PROJECT +MURAL
HELP THE HOMELESS STORE THEIR POSSESSIONS SAFELY AND FEEL PART OF THE COMMUNITY: FUND OUR LOCKER PROJECT AND ART MURAL
NEW UPDATE (May 16, 2018): We met our initial goal, but now we are trying to raise additional money for security cameras and lighting to keep the lockers and the people who use them safe. Plus, we need to build an enclosure to keep the outdoor lockers dry.
The City of Fort Collins voted not to fund the lockers that Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship wanted to install for the homeless. Even so, I am smiling excitedly, because we bring Good News to the poor, and proclaim that we SHALL have lockers.
The City said no, but the people are saying yes… including a man who called our Fellowship out of the blue because he wanted to send us some money to help continue our locker project! The people said amen.
And now are asking folks to step up to the plate and help make this project a reality. Your donation will help Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship purchase and install lockers, hire a staff person to manage them, as well as commission a community mural in honor of the people we serve.
So why do we need lockers for the homeless?
I could tell you. Or, I could have our homeless friends explain it better.
Our friend Cody sent an email to City Council about the importance of lockers:
"I believe that I am a prime example of how someone who is homeless and trying to better themselves, can utilize such a wonderful concept....
#1 it would be close to the shelters where most of us reside.
#2 It would have all-hour and weekend access, unlike the Murphy Center, where many of us have a small storage locker with limited access.
#3 I work at pizzeria in Longmont, and due to Transfort’s limited Flex runs, I don't have the time to get ready for work and be able to go to the Murphy Center with their hours of operation.
#4 It would be so much easier to exchange our dirty laundry for clean laundry, that would be much more conducive for everybody’s different and busy work/life styles.
#5 Many of us more poverty-stricken individuals can't afford our own [storage] units, so this gift would a God sent, and a helping hand to those of us less fortunate.
#6 Other than the easy accessibility factor, it would also ease the burden for many of us to not always have to tote what's left of our life belongings, but would give us the peace of mind that they are stored safely in a secure place."
Our friend Deborah spoke at City Council, sharing her story of how hard it was to carry her bags everywhere when she was homeless, and the physical problems it created. In fact, 1-1/2 years after getting housing, she still suffers from rotator cuff injuries.
Video: Deborah & Lynn about Lockers during Demonstration @City of Fort Collins
Our friend Nick was outside the municipal court when we spoke to him. He was trying to figure out a way to pay for his camping ticket, because he had to hide his bags outside behind an electrical box (see video).
A Little Background
After months of research, the City finally decided that more lockers were needed. The Murphy Center lockers were only available from 8-5 pm on weekdays and never on holidays. So, the City reached out to organizations and asked them, “Would you be willing to install lockers on your property?” Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship was the only organization to respond!
Then, after promising the funds, the City dragged their feet for months. And long after FCMF created a plan, hired a locker manager, and thought of an art mural design, the City (minus Kristen Stephens, of District 4) voted to stop the project!)
Voices ARE Being Heard
Right now, there is more than hope... there is action.
Last week, we had a phone call from a man who asked us where he could send a $3,000 check to get the Locker Project jump-started. And many other groups are joining. The Locker Project is alive!
Our voices are being heard, and the voices of the voiceless are triumphing. The voices are yelling, AMEN!
With lockers, our brothers and sisters without homes, shelter, and storage will be able to go to job interviews without the stigma of bringing a backpack.
Those with jobs will have a place in town to store their belongings without having to worry about losing their possessions.
As the weather changes daily, they will have access to dry clothes, to another pair of shoes, to hygiene items when stores are closed, and the Murphy lockers are 1-1/2 miles away by foot … lockers that are inaccessible before the Murphy Center opens and after it closes on weekdays.
Even better, without their belongings on their back, they will feel more like part of the community and will be less likely to be stigmatized as “homeless.”
We also plan to have our homeless friends help create a mural on the backside of the lockers to remind the world of who the kingdom belongs to. Jesus was Homeless! "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)
In a way, we are grateful for the outcome of the City Council vote. The Locker Project will now be 100% operated and controlled by people who wouldn’t dream of voting against helping “the least of these."
Our Fellowship is personally more inspired now, knowing that our funding will come from people who care, rather than a city government that dragged its feet on the issue and ultimately could not bring itself to help fund the project.
Please consider donating to our cause. Let your homeless brothers and sisters know that even though they showed up at City Council and the Council voted against them, “We The People” have their backs. We love them with all our hearts, minds, and souls.
"How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and ignore one on Monday?"
Photo: Pastor Steve and Food Not Bombs group serving food on Friday night.
Video: Free concert at FCMF during one of our Friday nights, courtesy of Rachael McCuaig.
What an amazing evening! At 6 pm on Thursday, July 19, 2018, Chambers were packed with supporters and opponents alike.
We first listened to presentations by Pastor Steve, the ACLU lawyers, and City Staff. The Public Comment session was quite long, as more than 25 people spoke for or against the project. Speakers included members of our congregation, neighbors, local business owners, and those without homes who would benefit from lockers.
Then the Board spent time asking questions of Steve, the lawyers, and City Staff. Finally, the Board deliberated among themselves and discussed their opinions out loud.
And when the roll call came, ALL P&Z Board members voted to approve our Locker Project!
Now comes the real work: getting all the lockers in, determining the locker application and vetting process, developing a code of conduct for all who use lockers or rest outside our church, defining criteria to evaluate the success of the project, working with our neighbors, and more!
These lockers will be a godsend to our homeless brothers and sisters. They will finally have a safe place to store their belonging and no longer have to carry them with them everywhere!
We still need to raise additional funds for an appropriate digital surveillance system, security lights, and an enclosure … all of which will make the lockers safe and dry to access late at night. Plus, we have some additional costs to cover, such as our Project Director’s salary.
If you believe in our project and have not yet donated, please do so today by clicking the Donate Now button.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who donated so generously to our Locker Project and made it a success!
We met our initial goal and were able to purchase the lockers. We may have another fund drive in the future to fund the security camera, lights, and enclose we will need to finish the project.
In the meantime, we want to CELEBRATE our lockers with a party … and YOU are invited!
Our “Locker Jam” will take place on Friday, June 1, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship (300 E. Oak Street, Fort Collins).
Be prepared for great food (BBQ), live music with Gypsy Whiskey, dancing, and mural painting.
Come celebrate the purchase of our lockers, the success of our GoFundMe site, the support of our donors, and our community in general!
Check out the awesome party flier designed by Julie Rowen-Zoch.
Feel free to share your invitation with anyone you think should be at the party!
No RSVPs needed!
• If you have any questions, please contact Steve Ramer at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-412-7510 or
• For more details about the Locker Project, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/lockers4homeless
Hope to see you there,
Steve Ramer, Pastor of Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship
Michael Ranieri, Outreach Director of Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship
Yes, we did it. We reached and exceeded our initial Go Fund Me goal of $8,000 for lockers!
We will be installing the first 13 large-size lockers for our homeless brothers and sisters.
So many people have already been telling us they can't wait for a locker! Some have contacted us in person and others via Facebook to share their gratitude and excitement!
We are still waiting on some additional funding from various grants to purchase the rest of the lockers and pay for security lights, cameras, and an enclosure.
We will keep the Go Fund Me site up and running in case the grants fall through! And if we do receive the grant money, we will put the extra Go Fund Me money to good use helping our homeless brothers and sisters. There are SO many projects we hope to accomplish.
So please press the Donate Now button if you have not yet done so!
For the past couple months, Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship has been collecting donations, for a set of lockers to be installed on our property.
We have met our goal, and surpassed it by over $1,500.
What comes next?
And of course... The Party (date TBD).
After all, why *wouldn't* we celebrate such a great coming together of community? We did it! We came together. And we're about to see the results...
Stay tuned for updates and awesomeness.
We love you guys.