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Local group working to clean up Colorado Springs on Earth Day

Local group cleans up Colorado Springs
Posted at 6:53 AM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 08:54:45-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Earth Day is upon us and recently Mayor John Suthers expressed his commitment to decreasing litter in the Pikes Peak region.

One local group has been doing great work to help clean up our community for the past several years.

The local non-profit Westside CARES helps those in need by providing everything from clothing to food and support. Over the years the homeless community has developed a big trust with this non-profit.

This is what inspired members of the homeless community to approach Westside CARES with the idea that they wanted to clean up local creek beds.

Westside CARES teamed up with Luke and Tiffany Scott and the groups have been working together for years to clean up Colorado Springs.

At the last clean-up, there were more unhoused volunteers than housed helpers. One volunteer has been helping for several years and says the homeless community is sometimes misunderstood. Many of them want to have a clean-living environment.

“Homeless get blamed for a lot of stuff they don’t do. And it gives them a chance to show the public we’re not all that bad. I mean, we’ve got the good and the bad with the homeless just like any walk of life,” said James Stokes, a volunteer for Westside CARES.

Those at Westside CARES say the clean-ups bridge together community members.

“We endeavor to be a sustainable organization in addition to being a helping organization and we are thrilled to provide opportunities that meet the needs of our community to come together across any kind of division and do something good for the earth,” said Kristi Milligan, chief executive officer at Westside CARES.

The clean-ups are a win-win for both the environment and for some of the volunteers.

At least four unhoused members who participated in a fall clean-up have now been housed through Westside CARES programs.

James has now been housed for two years.

The next clean-up will take place next Saturday and will focus on cleaning up Fountain Creek in Colorado Springs. To get involved, visit here.