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A MILE IN MY SHOES TAKES ON HOMELESSNESS
Kyla Jenkinson, a local photographer has been finding creative ways of telling stories with her art. Most recently she and her sister Wesley have provided a unique program for teens in the region called “A Mile in My Shoes” which has worked to raise awareness around body image issues, self-esteem for teens in the four-corners region. This year Kyla wants to expand the a "A Mile in my Shoes" program. She and her team are exploring the possibility of addressing different issues each year this year engaging in stories of those without a home.
A few months ago, Kyla had the opportunity to get to know a local woman experiencing homelessness and it inspired her to do something about this growing issue in our community. Over the last month, she has assembled a group of friends and colleagues to raise awareness about homelessness and promote understanding and solutions for this community-wide issue. Our team believes that by providing educational opportunities, through events, communication pieces and art events, we will begin to see that homelessness can happen to anyone in our community and that we can address it if we work together on proven solutions.
Our first event on Sunday, April 22 will be an evening of storytelling, conversations and some fun as we hear personal stories of persons with lived experience in our community. Our first-ever pajama party might sound like a novel idea but we are following the success of our colleagues at Denver’s Road Home; Denver’s initiative to end homelessness. Denver’s Road Home began this event at a downtown hotel several years ago and found it to be a unique way to bring the community together and share a night of music, food and awareness. A pajama party creates a novel and more authentic way to engage as neighbors.
The team for this event and year-long campaign includes Mandy Winn, Jenn Lopez and Heather Martinez. Jenn has been working on the issue of homelessness for the past six years, which included a three-year appointment in the Hickenlooper Administration as the Director of Homeless Initiatives. She now develops and consults nationally on housing solutions for persons experiencing homelessness. Mandy, owner of Celbrations Events and Design brings her years of experience working in Durango and her compassion towards those without homes since she herself experienced homelessness as a teen. Heather is an appreciative Inquiry facilitator and visual practitioner helping groups have breakthrough conversations and achieve their goals through strategic visualization.
WHAT ARE WE LAUNCHING
The “Mile in My Shoes” team is launching a year-long community education/media campaign to increase awareness and compassion for our most vulnerable neighbors who are sleeping outside, in their cars or are couch hopping as a way to stay off the streets in our community. We will capture and share stories, create opportunities for respective community dialogue, dive into causes for homelessness and promote concrete solutions that serve those in need and our larger community as a whole. Please see FAQ tab at the top of the page.
PJ DANCE PARTY, THE GLORIOUS DETAILS
A Mile in My Shoes Pajama Party - A glimpse into homelessness
April 22nd, Sunday 6:30PM Fort Lewis College Ball Room
It's time to put homelessness to bed in La Plata County
Our creative and inspiring colleague Mandy Winn is involved in the Durango High School Prom. This year’s Prom theme is the Arabian Nights, 1,001 stories; as luck would have it this amazing setting is available the day after prom, Sunday night, April 22nd, for our team to gather our friends and colleagues and announce our commitment to creating safe homes for all in La Plata County. This will be a pajama party; yes, you heard that right. Guests will be encouraged to attend in their pajamas; mingle and dance while learning about how to put homelessness to bed in La Plata County.
Doors will open at 6:30 pm and will begin with a casual cocktail hour where participants will be encouraged to mingle, view photos and take-in stories that will be displayed throughout the room.
At 7:00pm we will have a brief but formal program to launch this year-long initiative and highlight compelling stories in our community.
From 7:30 to 9:30 we will have a DJ and encourage those to shake their stuff and enjoy the energy of coming together and engaging in conversations to promote positive changes in our community.
There is a suggested minimum door donation of $5.00 this will include dessert. There will be ample opportunities to sign-up to volunteer for a Mile in My Shoes campaign.
For more information contact: Kyla Jenkinson at info@Photodivine.com or Jenn Lopez at email@example.com
We are looking for sponsors to cover costs of this event and to begin seeding our year-long strategy. Sponsors will be recognized at the event and will be allowed to provide materials throughout the room.
Slippers and Robe: $100.
Dressing Gown $250.
Silk Night Shirt: $500.
One-piece footed hoodie: $1000
A Mile in My Shoes is sponsored by the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, a qualified 501C3 organization.