COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Place Youth Homeless Shelter is hosting its annual "Off the Street" fundraiser to raise money for homeless youth in Colorado Springs.
Organizers say over 300 young people are homeless in the community, many of whom live on the street.
Over the past five years, almost a thousand people have gathered under the Colorado Avenue Bridge for the "Off the Street" fundraiser.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic - the fundraiser is being held virtually.
This year, "The Place" hopes to raise $189,000 for their cause.
“We need folks to step up because every young person deserves a place to belong,” says The Place's executive director, Shawna Kemppainen. “If you imagine the stress of trying to survive on the street, COVID-19 comes under whatever else was happening and makes it worse.”
Benjamin Branum, who lives at The Place Youth Shelter, says any donation helps people change the trajectory of their lives.
"They've provided me a stable place to sleep, they give me three square meals a day, and they give me a stable community where I feel like I can speak my mind,” says Branum.
In an effort to connect with the community in-person, organizers handed out picnic basket breakfasts downtown to those in need.
You can tune in to see their fundraising efforts in real-time and donate here.