The Fort Collins Homeless Coalition (FCHC) was a former FCCAN affiliate that fought for dignity, rights, and housing for all. We shared food, laughter, tears, and struggle. Our power came from organizing, mobilizing, and acting collectively – by working together, we fought to build a different world.
After a period of inactivity, FCHC decided to close as an organization and leave space for others to organize around these issues. We are proud of what we accomplished, we cherish what we shared, and we look forward to seeing what comes next.
Our mission statement read:
“The Fort Collins Homeless Coalition (FCHC) works with and for people who experience homelessness, to address the issues that arise from the experience of homelessness. We work to protect and advocate for dignity, rights, and choices for people experiencing homelessness. We create space for solutions and we effect change in our community. We fight the criminalization of poverty and homelessness. We commit our efforts toward goals affirmed and raised by people who are homeless. We strive to add our strengths together to create ways of living in which everyone has a place they can call home.”
FCHC was built on a shared commitment to mutual aid, decriminalization, community, and justice. We focused on material issues in our community, identified and affirmed by people who were directly impacted. Police sweeps. Camping tickets. Freezing nights with no place to go. Locked bathrooms. Mistreatment in shelters. Discrimination and dehumanization. Housing.
After forming in 2014, FCHC opened Fort Collins’ first weekend warming center, where we shared hundreds of hot meals, cooked and eaten together. Along with addressing needs for warmth, food, safety, showers, and sleep, we used that space to honor our need to collectively create change. We held countless meetings, shared experiences & knowledge, built relationships, and organized direct action. Together, we protested at City Council sessions, marched through downtown, testified at the State Capitol, distributed survival supplies, showed up in court to support each other, made art, played music, danced in the kitchen, celebrated our victories, mourned our losses, licked our wounds, and returned to the fight again, over and over.
Any organization exists simply to hold the work that needs to be done and the people committed to doing it together. At its peak, FCHC contained incredible momentum and energy. But by 2021, the organization needed repair. Many of our members had moved on, found housing, founded new groups, taken up a different piece of our collective struggle for justice. The pandemic brought additional stresses, traumas, and losses; we decided to take a healing break, and the pause lengthened.
By deciding to shutter this organization, we hope to leave space for others to take up this fight. We thank everyone who stood with us, and all the past, present, and future voices joined in this long call for justice.
## Winter is Coming…Where Do We Go? Fort Collins is facing a global pandemic, and local decisions have left many in our community hungry, stressed, and without shelter. The horrendous failures of our federal & state governments are leading to a massive wave of new evictions, homelessness, and increased need for emergency aid. Fort Collins needs a plan that includes homeless, marginalized, and incarcerated people, and **we need universal housing for all**. We, the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition (FCHC), believe: * **The City should immediately repeal its camping ban.** Every human being needs sleep to survive, and hundreds must currently...Read more...
Sanitation — access to toilets and to clean water — is a pervasive human rights issue around the world, including here in Fort Collins. Until recently, here is what the City of Fort Collins had to say about bodily waste: > “Yes, everybody makes it sometimes, but it’s a private ordeal that needs to stay in a private receptacle. This includes excrement, vomit, spit, or any other form of human waste.” — Office of Social Sustainability, City of Fort Collins. *“[Dealing with Difficult Behaviors](http://fccan.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DifficultBehaviorsflyer.pdf).”* At the time that the above was written, Fort Collins did not have a single public...Read more...
In Fort Collins, resting & eating in public spaces is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless. Fort Collins does not have enough affordable housing, or even enough emergency services. Yet every year, police in Fort Collins write hundreds of tickets to poor and homeless people for the “crime” of sitting, sleeping, or resting in public spaces. Groups that share food with unhoused people have been targeted, and events shut down. Police disrupt people who are resting outside or in vehicles, threaten them with tow notices and tickets, and tell them to “move along.” Yet the reality is that there is...Read more...