The Shepherd’s Hand is a Colorado 501c3 non-profit corporation dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families in the Montrose community. Our goal is to provide a safe and friendly gathering place for delivering needed services to help make each day better.
The Shepherd’s Hand is the only program of its kind in the Montrose, Colorado area. No other program provides seven-day-a-week services and support to the homeless and low income population.
The Shepherd's Hand started in November of 2011 commencing with a board of directors who were individually burdened by the hurt they saw in their community.
Garey Martinez, the President of the Board, had previously been a founding member of another non-profit which served lunch 5 days a week. As Garey worked alongside the homeless and low income individuals and families, his heart kept saying, "we need to do more than feed people once a day 5 days a week". His dream became The Shepherd's Hand, Inc.
To accomplish this mission, a Day Center was opened in the MADA building, located at 17 N. 6th Street in Montrose, Colorado. The Day Center opens at 7:00 AM and is open until about 1:00 PM, seven-days-a-week. During this time, individuals and families have access to:
- A nutritious Break and Lunch
- Restroom and Shower facilities
- Laundry facilities
- Phone Access
- Wall lockers to store personal items.
- Referrals for pastoral counseling, job training, substance abuse programs, health insurance and housing options.
These are some of the organizations within the Montrose area who partner with The Shepherd's Hand:
- Montrose County Sheriff donated wall lockers for securing personal items.
- Sharing Ministries supplies bread, vegetables, desserts and dairy product.
- Shepherd's Hand is an approved agency of Food Bank of the Rockies which provides food and essentials.
- Mission Committees from several local churches send volunteers and donate funds.
- Starvin Arvins makes available baked goods.
The Shepherd’s Hand is a member of the Coalition for the Homeless in Montrose, which was recognized in 2012 by the Colorado Governor’s Council on Homelessness. And in 2013, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs recognized and awarded Shepherd’s Hand as a “mobilizing resource to support innovative solutions”.
All one has to do is walk in the door to sense a welcoming gathering place and see people who are comfortable being there. There are men, women and often children who enjoy visiting with each other. The volunteers chat with the clientele and it is not unusual to hear laughter among them. One of Shepherd's Hands' goals is to make sure that each person is treated with dignity and respect.
The shower and remodeled bath were paid for by a private individual so that those living by the river or in their cars could have a place to shower and shave. Having clean clothes just makes one feel better so laundry is done daily.
Shepherd's Hand makes a positive impact for many people in these additional ways:
- Tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, socks, coats, hats and gloves are freely given out during inclement weather,
- Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, razors and nail clippers are available for personal use,
- Christmas gifts to celebrate the holidays.
Total services provided in 2014:
- 29,876 nutritious breakfasts and lunches were served.
- 1645 hot showers were taken.
- 1170 loads of laundry were done.
The Shepherd's Hand Board of Directors is an all volunteer working board. Each of the directors actively participates in one or more ways with operations and fundraising.
The Shepherd's Hand continues to be grateful to MADA for agreeing to let us use part of their facility.