It’s the heat of the summer and most families and people take advantage of the warmer temperatures to escape from their busy lives and go on a vacation. Some explore other parts of the world while others plan a staycation in their home state or city. At Sox Place we meet lots of travelers and train hoppers that have made the decisions to be land pirates as they travel the world by train, van, or by thumb. Here are some tips and tricks from some travelers that have come through at Sox Place.
Doyle Robinson can’t remember the exact amount of years that Valerie Biggs has been volunteering for Sox Place but he does recall the exact chain of events and the network of people that brought her here.
Regardless of Doyle’s memory, three years ago Valerie recalls being introduced to Sox Place. A friend of hers had told her that Doyle would take all of her food donations and so she found her way down here to donate some extra food she had on hand. However, when she arrived she realized they needed more than just her food donations.
“I walked in and thought that Doyle was in desperate need of someone to help organize the food pantry and the donations that came in,” she said.
A once unorganized Sox Place was blessed by Valerie and her friend Michelle. “I felt like I couldn’t walk away from the project of straightening and organizing, and I really wanted to help make everything easier on Doyle and the staff on a regular basis,” said Valerie.
Doyle and Jordan were up to their ears with other concerns and didn’t have time to keep the pantry organized when new donations came flooding in. But Valerie stepped in and has made a big impact by volunteering regularly to organize.
“She knows why she’s here and she does what Jordan and I are not good at,” said Doyle. “To me volunteers should fill in the gaps and do the things that we aren’t great at or don’t have the time to spend on.”
Volunteering for Sox Place not only made a big difference in the effectiveness of operations and organization but it has also touched Valerie in a way that keeps bringing her back.
“Every time I go in to volunteer or I’m reading the Sox Place blog I am humbled and reminded how easily I could have been one of the kids at Sox Place. Although my husband and I have a great life together now, our adolescent experiences aren’t much different than those who receive services from Sox Place. It is an honor to give my assistance to everyone who walks through the doors,” she said.
Get ready to play some golf with Sox Place as we head to Arrowhead Golf Club Wednesday, September 14, 2016.
“We want to keep Sox Place open,” said Doyle Robinson, the founder of the organization that he started fifteen years ago. Operating as a drop in center for at risk and homeless youth of Denver there is a hot meal, personal hygiene items, clean clothing and socks among so many other services being provided.
“My Chiropractor and I had talked about doing a golf fundraiser for years,” said Doyle. Those interested in sponsoring the event have the option between choosing from six levels of sponsorship ranging from $100-$5,000 dollars. Those interested in just playing some golf while supporting Sox Place can sign up individually for $160 dollars or as a team of four for $600. To find out more please contact Leanne at 720-242-8374.
Following the scramble there with be a complimentary lunch and silent auction.
To find out more check out the Sox Place Golf Fundraiser Brochure by clicking on the link.
Large orange pizza boxes piled high on the counters of Sox Place’s kitchen awaiting the flood of street kids and travelers that would be hungry for lunch. On Wednesday June 1, 2016 those big red doors opened like they often do and the stream of kids lined up for lunch grabbing cheese pizza by the slice donated from Little Cesar’s.
Free pizza was met with yet another treat. An animal clinic hosted by For the Love of Paws, a local rescue that has found it’s place partnering with Sox Place stepping up as our primary vet resource for all things pets. Jen, the heart of the operations works around the clock for Sox Place and all our visiting pets, even though a year ago she admits that she was not interested in the partnership at all.
“We had never heard of Sox Place. I just knew that we did not have time,” said Jen. But Cindy from a non-profit called Favors Project who often donated collars and leashes to Sox Place didn’t give up on her. Eventually Jen agreed to meet with Jordan Robinson and got a tour of Sox Place. Little did she know what she was in for.
After talking for several hours and witnessing the multitude of kids and pets, Jen couldn’t say no. “I remember coming here for the first time and just being blown away by this place,” said Jen, “It was different than what every other rescue was doing, and we were trying to find our place in rescue.”
For the Love of Paws was on the hunt for a mission that fueled their fire and took rescue a step further from the amazing work of just pulling animals from shelters. “Our hearts wanted more, and we found it the minute I walked in the door here,” said Jen.
Megan Brocato, another key player For the Love of Paws recalled getting a phone call after Jen’s meeting with Jordan. The memories played back in her head like an old record, “I remember Jen calling me and just saying ‘This is what we need to do, and I need you to be on bored,’ recalled Megan. Just a week later they both found themselves being engulfed by the missions at Sox Place.
By 4:00 P.M. last Wednesday the team of volunteers had served eleven dogs and two cats, treating them with a series of vaccines, distemper, and even microchips. This basic and yet necessary care can often cost a pet owner a good chunk of change, and yet they offered the whole clinic for free.
According to a 2014 article off CBS money watch, Americans spend $55.7 billion dollars on their pets annually for all costs. Later in the article it reports that $14.37 billion dollars were spent just on veterinary care.
For the Love of Paws works around the clock networking and fundraising for Sox Place and the pets that are passing through those big red doors. “We have donors and grants that are specifically for Sox Place and Best Pets and (C.A.R.E) sponsored this clinic. There are people behind us that are behind you guys.”
For the Love of Paws not only helps provide dog and cat food, leashes and coats, but also has connections with groups that are ready to pick up any spay and neuter costs that come out of Sox Place. One of the dogs that was treated was a black momma Pit Bull who happened to be super sick. Jen kneeled down in front of the dog owner with her hair pulled back in a ponytail behind a ball cap. After having a very hard conversation with the owner, they agreed the dog would receive urgent care the next day, expenses paid for.
“She’s going to the vet tomorrow,” Jen said shaking her head. “Jeff is going to do what needs to be done on her and the best part is that it’s totally paid for, that dog needs serious medical attention,” said Jen with passion in her eyes.
When Jen and Megan started this rescue a year ago, they approached Jeff Baier to come on board, who is the designated Veterinarian for the clinic.
“We knew we needed to get him and we didn’t even have to convince him to do it, he just said yes right away. He is a blessing to us,” said Jen. Jeff is a Vet at Planned Pethood Plus and get’s Jen’s emergency rescues into a very busy clinic. “We could not do what we do without him. The pit bull is in tomorrow, which otherwise would have taken just 24 hours to get a phone call back,” said Jen.
While working in rescue for animals and pet owners can be rewarding, there are lots of difficult conversations and decisions that Jen and Megan are faced with. While spending time at Sox Place, there have been times where Jen felt the need to step in to a dog or cats life and help make the owner make a choice that both benefits the animal as well as the owner. “There was a puppy that I met here and I told the kid, this one’s got to go, because she’s not going to make it,” said Jen remembering those agonizing times.
Those hard decisions don’t stop at the door of Sox Place either. When a dog out of Sox Place ends up in a shelter Jen is often faced with the choice of leaving them there to be adopted to a new family or to put them back on the street. Back in the hands of a street kid.
Only a few weeks ago one of Sox Place’s kids was approached by Jen for this exact reason. Jessica, an owner of black lab as well as four other pets had her hands full. Jen recognized the lab to be a great animal and eventually asked Jessica to let him go to a home.
“I like Jessica she’s one of those kids that just knows that she couldn’t do it anymore. It was too much. Those are hard choices that we have to make, and she wants to do right for her animals. That’s the kind of kid that we love working with because the want to do the right thing.” said Jen.
There are so many stories and special relationships at Sox Place between a human and their pet. After working in rescue there’s a lot of terrible things that they witness happen to animals but they admit that these kids are not the ones abusing their pets. “That’s their soul pet, their life, their buddy. They’re not going to abuse their animal. I see a greater appreciation for their animals from these kids,” said Jen.
Pets can play a big role in a persons life and we are so grateful for our friends at For The Love of Paws and all that they do to support Sox Place and our pets. If you believe in what they are doing for Sox Place please consider visiting their Facebook page. We are so excited to see how this friendship will continue to grow between us.
Anyone who works in downtown Denver knows that parking can be a real hassle, which made the two mile round trip to pick up clothing for our custom screen print orders something of an inconvenience on foot or in a truck.
Problem solved! With the help of our kids and crew we’ve got a new company vehicle! All built in house, this beautiful trike will keep the chiropractor and the meeter maid at bay not having to carry our packages back or park to pick them up any longer. Thank you to every one that chipped in with the build!
Now it’s only fitting that this thing has a proper name. Any suggestions?
From Left to Right: Chuckie Freeman, Kenny, Jordan Robinson, Trent (In basket), Doyle Robinson
Denver’s weather had finally taken a break from the pesky snow storms when the two girls stepped in perfect unison came coming down the alley. One named Melissa aka “Lever Pusher” had long black hair that twisted down towards her soft lower back. Her long locks fell delicately over her blue jean vest that was decorated with a plethora of beautifully crafted and colorful patches. One being a Sox Place patch.
“Every new traveler I meet I tell them to go to Sox Place. I wear my patch just so people will ask me about it. I always tell them they have to drop by to get the full effect,” said Melissa.
Sox Place is a popular landing place for many travelers that find themselves making a stop in Denver and word has spread like wildfire through the traveling community who are often in need of a warm meal, some clean socks, and some extra TLC for their four legged companions. Hearing about us through another fellow traveler, Melissa was intrigued about this so called Sox Place.
“Curiosity got the best of me. I had to come check it out,” said Melissa. “I had no shoes or socks. I was hungry and in need of several things. Sox helped me with everything I needed including getting my animals vaccinated and helping me with a crew change. Things I didn’t even expect to get help with. Every new traveler I meet I tell them to go to Sox Place,” Melissa explained.
Sox Place is a bit unique in that we receive zero aid from government grants. And many of our financial supporters and donors and our everyday community have never even met face to face. But it’s not difficult for our traveler friends and street youth to feel the impact of when our supporters and friends give to us.
“I honestly don’t know where I would be without you guys. I’m super grateful to all the people at Sox and every one who donates there,” said Melissa.
As those summer months are close around the corner we will see a spike in travelers and pets coming through and we are going to need our donors help to keep our doors open so that we can keep bellies fed and feet covered with fresh socks.
Sox Place is seeking a Social Media Marketing intern who has a heart for the runaways, gutter punks, train hoppers, and street youth that find themselves without shelter in Denver Colorado on a regular basis. Without a desire to show love and grace to people who desperately need it, there is no reason to apply for the Social Media Marketing internship.
Beyond a heart for the street youth and a talent for writing, the ideal candidate has a creative spirit and is missons minded. We’re looking for someone who desires to learn and practice professional social media skills and is thoughtful when interacting with online communities and building relationships. You’ll be tasked with monitoring our various social media platforms, and using a variety of social media tools.
You must be up for various tasks including, but not limited to:
Desired Skills and Experience:
Not Mandatory but a benefit to have:
This is an unpaid internship and would be a great opportunity to earn college credit.
Email resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with Social Media Internship in the subject line
As you all may know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and Sox Place is more than willing to bring up some heavy statistics. Many street kids and runaways engage in survival sex and 34% report being sexually abused before they ever leave home. One in four girls are sexually assaulted before they even turn 18 and one in six boys experience the same damaging fate. Men and women that sexually assault their victims are not all scary strangers lurking in dark alleys but instead can hide behind masks of normal people–friends, family members, and people you may trust. Parents don’t let this converstaion go silent in your homes. Readers, do not blame, pass judgemnet, or pretend that it’s not happening all around you. At Sox Place many of our kids have been hurt and affected by sexual assault and abuse. We provide a safe place, a loving atmosphere, and a judgement free zone for the street youth of Denver. Kids can be kids at Sox Place. They don’t have to worry about their safety or security while they are under our watch. If you like what we are doing at Sox Place and believe that victims of sexual assualt should continue to have a safe place to go please consider partnering with us and supporting us financially on our donate page.
I recently read an article that the National Runaway Safe Line (NRS) posted on their twitter about kids that runaway from home. They reported that 34% of runaway youth (girls and boys) reported sexual abuse before leaving home and 43% of runaway youth (girls and boys) reported physical abuse before leaving home.
This caught my attention because the kids that we have the privilege of serving and loving are many many many times runaway’s. Ranging from young teenage kids to young adults who have traded the unsafe place they were supposed to call home for the unsafe place of the streets. Often times young adults will engage in “survival sex” in exchange for food, shelter, or money.
This is where Sox Place steps in, at least for a few hours a day. We provide FREE clothing, FREE food, and FREE hygiene products. Most importantly we provide a safe place with safe people. The people we engage with daily do not have security, but when they are here, they do.
Sox Place is not only attempting to serve the homeless. Sox Place is addressing sexual assault by being kind hearted and treating everyone with love and respect, something they don’t receive in the other areas of their lives. If you have a heart for those that have suffered sexual assault and abuse and if you want to support Sox Place in helping these kids survive, please consider navigating to our donate page so that our doors may stay open for the bruised and broken kids that have no home.