$5,000 Vote Nominee – Urban Peak Gets Denver’s Homeless Youth Off Streets and Back on Road to Future Success

Citywide Banks’ next Charity Fan Vote for its $5,000 Hand-Up Charity Donation will take place on Facebook from June 1-14, 2012. Urban Peak is one of five nominated charities that will be spotlighted leading up to this quarter’s Fan Vote. The general public is invited to participate in the vote. Voters can enter to win prizes in addition to helping raise awareness for their favorite Front Range charity.

When you see runaway kids on the street you might think that they chose this life in order to gain freedom, do drugs, hang-out and have a good time, etc. But the truth is that the vast amount of homeless youth is actually running away because home is not safe. In fact, for many youth, the streets are actually safer than home, says Jason Newcomer, Urban Peak Annual Fund and Individual Giving Manager. And, yet, the streets are incredibly dangerous.

“These youths desperately don’t want to be homeless,” Newcomer says. “But there’s a lot of sexual, physical and mental abuse that they’ve suffered.” He says there’s a startling 777 homeless youth on the streets of Denver every night.

Founded in 1988, Urban Peak helps these homeless youth become part of a safe and supportive community, while providing them with the tools they need stay off the streets – for good. Last year Urban Peak served a record breaking 2,400 youths.

It all starts with their Outreach Team that scour the streets six days a week to find homeless youth and bring them food, hygiene products, clothing and other much needed items — and let them know about Urban Peak’s services. They also operate the only shelter in Denver for homeless youth ages 15 to 21, in addition to about 130 transitional housing units for young adults that are ready to branch out on their own.

Their Education and Employment program further helps these kids escape life on the streets by offering GED prep classes, job readiness programs, employment counseling and access to a job placement specialist and a job retention specialist. Last year 346 Urban Peak youth attended GED prep classes and 165 young adults obtained employment.

When asked what he’d do with a $5,000 donation, Newcomer listed numerous ways the donation would go toward helping homeless youth get – and stay — off the streets. It could provide shelter for 90 homeless teenagers or dinner for every child in the shelter for an entire month. It could also enable 33 teens to get their GED or provide confidential HIV testing and counseling for 66 troubled kids.

“Our programs show results,” says Newcomer.  “They prove that it’s possible for youths to make it … to leave homelessness behind.”

For more information about Urban Peak’s programs and ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.UrbanPeak.org.

Vote for Urban Peak to Receive $5,000 Donation
Each quarter, Citywide Banks spotlights five Front Range charities to raise awareness about their great work, needs, and corporate giving opportunities. The charities are nominated by Citywide employees. Then, during a 14-day vote on the bank’s Facebook Fan Page, customers and the local community will select the most deserving charity to receive a $5,000 cash donation from Citywide Banks. $500 and $250 runner-up donations will be awarded to the charities receiving the second and third most votes, respectively. The bank’s quarterly Fan Vote on Facebook is a fun way to get the community engaged in the campaign. Regardless of who wins the vote, all the nominated charities will get some valuable exposure.

Voters in Facebook Vote Eligible to Win Prizes
The public is invited to participate in the Charity Fan Vote at Facebook.com/citywidebanks from June 1-14, 2012. Voters will have the option to be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes, including Starbucks cards and a $100 dinner for two at Littleton’s Opus Restaurant, one of the area’s top picks by 5280 Magazine.

How to Vote for a Nominated Charity
Visit Citywide’s Facebook Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks anytime and become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button. Then, from June 1-14, 2012, Fans will be eligible to cast their vote and be entered into the voter prize drawing. Look for the “Charity Fan Vote” link on the bank’s Facebook page. To access Citywide’s Facebook Page, you will need to make sure you are logged into your own Facebook account. If you don’t have one, it only takes minutes to set up a new account and it’s free. Please note that voting is not available through the Facebook mobile phone app.

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