Tag Archives: Serve 6:8

The Murphy Center Is Under New Management

Sister Mary Alice Murphy

Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a long-time advocate for the poor in Fort Collins, helped open the first soup kitchen, the first clothing bank, the first homeless shelter, and the first non-profit affordable housing agency. Named in her honor, The Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope opened in March 2009, through a partnership between United Way of Larimer County and Touchstone Health Partners, to provide a multitude of services under one roof for families and individuals who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness. Today, they serve an average of 156 visitors per day and over a third of those served are part of a family with children.

However, when the center opened, United Way’s intent was to make it viable and then find a long term operator and owner before moving on to other projects. Over three years later, they were still looking and turned their attention to Serve 6.8.

Meanwhile, across town, Serve 6.8 was learning to serve the community with no strings attached. (See last week’s post on “What Is Serve 6.8?”) Looking for open spaces or gaps not being served, volunteers stepped in to fill the urgent needs after the High Park Fire and forged relationships with many community organizations. With the invitation from United Way to oversee operations at The Murphy Center, Serve 6.8 is honored to fill this gap and support the ongoing mission to help homeless families and individuals become stable, self-sufficient, and maintain permanent housing.

What does this service look like at The Murphy Center? After each guest meets with a case manager, they have the opportunity to connect with a variety of on-site services including health care referrals, dental referrals, employment resources, housing resources, financial counseling, transportation assistance, job training and educational opportunities, mental health and substance abuse counseling, clothing, cold weather gear, food, showers and laundry facilities, play areas for children, and access to a telephone and computer for making employment contacts. These services are provided by a variety of local human services agencies and offered free of charge.

What will Serve 6.8 be doing at The Murphy Center? It is their intent and desire to continue the work begun there in 2009. Through an agreement with United Way of Larimer County, Serve 6.8 will become the owners and operators of the facility effective July 1, 2013. At that time, all current case managers, office staff, and the program supervisor will become Serve 6.8 employees. Serve 6.8 will also be responsible for raising the annual operating budget through donations and grants. To help support Serve 6.8 at The Murphy Center, you can make a donation here.

Join us for a Christmas Party!


The Bridge ministry of Timberline Local Outreach will be partnering with Adopt-A-Family this Christmas season to bring a Christmas feast to families in need. The Bridge provides an opportunity to journey with those in need by inviting them to a Christmas celebration and banquet with our church family.

Last year, the Bridge served 250 families in three nights. This year the Bridge will do that in two nights, hoping to reach about 1,100 people. Each night, it takes 230-250 volunteers to support the Christmas feast. Everyone attending the Christmas feast this year will have the opportunity to receive a free, professional family portrait as well as gifts for the kids and a gift card for the family.

Watch a video from one the volunteers last year, Margie Bennett.

In Luke 14, Jesus tells a parable about a man that prepared a great banquet. When his friends could not attend, he decided to invite “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” He then scoured the countryside to be sure his house was full. In Mark, a similar story is told to illustrate the Kingdom of God, telling us that God loves all people and wants all people to attend his heavenly feast.

The Bridge ministry steps in the gap to help make the Christmas celebration happy and complete for those who are suffering financially and cannot provide for their families as they would like.

This year, the celebration will consist of a meal, entertainment, programs for the children and gifts to take home at the end of the party. As we serve and minister to our guests, we, too, are strengthened in our faith and experience God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Please join us in serving with the Bridge at this year’s Christmas Party!

When: Tuesday, December 18 and Wednesday, December 19

Where: Timberline Church in the main auditorium

How you can help: Each night, the Bridge requires 250 volunteers in a variety of roles.  We particularly need people that can serve as table hosts for our guests.

For more information: Join the Bridge Team Party on November 30 at 6pm in the East Auditorium.

Contact us: localoutreach@timberlinechurch.org or call 970-482-4387 and ask to speak with someone with the Serve 6.8 staff.