Homeless Get a Jumpstart on Life
Eleven people who use the services offered at Disabled Resource Services’ Loveland Office graduated from the Jumpstart Project in May. Municipal Judge Geri Joneson’s alternative sentencing program is designed to help homeless people to improve their lives by accessing local services rather than go to jail for misdemeanor crimes such as trespassing.
DRS staff are focused on each defendant’s success. “It’s a common misconception that the homeless know all about the resources available,” said Joneson. “They don’t.”
Jumpstart promotes accountability and improving quality of life as well as abiding the law among defendants, ultimately keeping them out of jail. “Jumpstart is working,” said Valerie Gallegos. “The success rate is in the high 70%, and people are improving their lives and staying out of jail.”
“I worked with individuals from the Jumpstart Project to get birth certificates, ID’s, food and medical benefits, bus passes and in two cases, housing,” said Denise Meyer, DRS Lead Independent Living Specialist in Loveland. “These individuals have changed their lives for the better.”