Get to know the Impact of your Donation

See the impact of your donation through numbers and stories.

Fast Facts: The impact of your donation

The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless began as a grass-roots effort when a handful of concerned people started working to make sure the neediest in our community were not left without shelter. Now, more than 35 years later, the Shelter relies on the kindness and generosity of thousands of supporters to make its services successful.

The Boulder Shelter is truly a community resource — it could not operate without those who share their time and money so that the neediest among us have a place of hope.

The impact your donation makes:

  • $315 purchases 350 hot meals (a week's worth of food for 25 men and women)
  • $128 pays for four nights of shelter and services for a working homeless person.
  • $60 provides a hot dinner for everyone in the Transition Program for two nights.
  • $25 funds a night of safe shelter and all services for a resident.

Shelter statistics you should know:

  • The Shelter provides approximately 50,000 bed nights and serves about 100,000 hot meals to 1,200 different men and women each year.
  • 900 men and women have graduated from the Transition program into independent housing. Many continue to meet with their case manager to stay connected to vital services in the community.
  • Nearly 40% of our residents work full- or part-time and 20% are seeking employment.
  • The Shelter’s staff of 40 is supplemented by more than 1,000 community volunteers, who donate a combined 12,000 hours of time each year.
  • The Shelter is a private, non-profit agency that receives 65% of its annual operating budget from community members and community-based groups and 35% from government sources.


The direct impact of your donation through resident stories

Every person who passes through the door of the Shelter has a story…

Relief and safety

“Today a young man arrived at the Shelter for the first time,” says a Shelter staff person. “On an evening in which snow clouds were gathering for a night of record cold, he sat halfway back on a bench in the Shelter’s intake area with his massive backpack on the seat beside him. I introduced myself to him. In a moment he lifted his head to exhibit the tear-streaked face of a very young man. His grief was real and honest. I asked him, ‘What’s going on in your life?’ He said, ‘I am homeless. Tonight will be cold. I do not want to die.’ I had to regroup. I bit my lip and my hand squeezed my knee. The one thing I knew for sure was that he would find relief and safety here at the Shelter, at least for tonight. And tonight that’s enough.”

Someone I could trust

“My way to the Shelter was a long one. There were years of drugs and alcohol and other troubles. I showed up at the Shelter without anything, needing and wanting housing and help, but slow to open up, trust and accept help. Eventually, I found myself a Shelter case manager I could trust. She told me, ‘Let down your resistance.’ And slowly but surely I did. I began to come out of my shell, and pretty soon I began to see myself in a different light. With her help, after a while, I figured some things out. And now I say to myself, ‘What more can I ask for, than to have a sober life and a focus of what I want to do? I’ll just take that, and reach for the stars.’ Truth is, the Boulder Shelter saved my life and changed my life forever.”

There for me
Samuel now speaks quietly and confidently about his life. Though he certainly has regrets, he is not ashamed of his past - he accepts it and understands he would not be who he is today without it. Samuel first started using drugs at 13 and eventually drifted into life on the streets. But he says the Boulder Shelter was a key source of hope and support through his years of struggle - years that have been hard, but have left him a better man. Now 42, and after making it through the Shelter’s Transition Program, he has been drug-free for five years and has obtained independent housing. Samuel recently completed an environmental training program and is working on getting his GED degree. He says, “The people from the Boulder Shelter were there for me with an open door. The people at the Shelter did not give up on me”