Aztec still looking for help

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Daryl and Shelly Gottier were residents of the Aztec last summer.
  • Daryl and Shelly Gottier were residents of the Aztec last summer.
Homeward Pikes Peak executive director Bob Holmes says he is waiting to hear back from possible funders for his homeless outreach program at the Aztec Motel.

The program, which has been funded for years through the El Pomar Foundation, Springs Rescue Mission, the city of Colorado Springs and other donors, could have to call it quits this winter if new money does not materialize. The program was supposed to be taken and over and fully funded by Springs Rescue Mission according to an agreement, but the Rescue Mission pulled out of the deal over the summer, and instead stepped up its own efforts at battling homelessness and substance abuse issues.

That left the Aztec program high and dry.

In a recent e-mail to interested parties, Holmes wrote:

Good Morning:
At this point, due to funding uncertainties, we are looking at reducing the number of rooms utilized
at the Aztec motel from 24 to 18 as of November 1. We have discontinued the “Bus Ticket Home” program
as of September 15. The 12 hour per week outreach program will end October 15. We will have managed
to keep the latter program going a full year after the Phase I outreach to tent campers had been completed.
We continue to pursue funding sources to keep the balance of the program running, and we
appreciate the support of many of you on this mailing list.

Holmes also included a fact sheet (below), outlining the program's current state, and accomplishments since its founding. At the the top, Holmes lists a number for "Aztec Campers." These numbers represent the people Holmes was originally trying to help — homeless tent campers that once numbered in the thousands, especially in the winter of 2009-10. As you can see, 15 of those in the original group are still in the program.

When the wave of tent campers receded following a city law change, Holmes shifted his focus to helping homeless families with children. Currently, 42 people from the "families" group remain in the program.

The latter half of the chart represents accomplishments since the program's inception. For instance, 192 people who contacted the program were given a bus ticket to return to friends or family in another city or state. Another 32 went into alcohol treatment programs, and so on.


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