SB 27 upholds the dignity of families by expanding the resources available to families in need and it protects the health and well-being of babies which fosters a culture of life in our state.
Amidst the far-reaching implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the hardest areas hit economically has been the family. Unfortunately, this has exacerbated a trend that was in place prior to the pandemic – many families are struggling to provide diapers for their children. That includes an estimated 67,000 children in Colorado alone.
In Colorado, the Gabriel House Project, a ministry within Catholic Charities of Denver, and the largest direct-to-client distributor of diapers in the state, distributes nearly half a million diapers to around 7,450 unique families in need across Colorado every year. While this seems like a lot, it only covers approximately 16% of an individual family’s diaper needs. Their work and the work of other charitable family services across our state has become increasingly important since the pandemic struck. The Gabriel House Project estimated a 50% increase in need due to factors associated with COVID-19. It is important that the state step in and help fill this expanded need.
Ministries such as the Gabriel House Project provide diapering essentials to individuals coming from a diverse set of backgrounds united by a common concern – finding diapers for their children. Oftentimes, organizations like the Gabriel House Project are the last resort for families unable to acquire enough diapers.
Especially since the onset of the pandemic, the difficulty of affording diapers has transcended income levels and demographic backgrounds. The Gabriel House Project, for instance, serves thousands of families; some are homeless, some are immigrants and refugees, some are middle class families undergoing financial stress and living paycheck to paycheck. During the pandemic many families who had never received charitable assistance before came to Gabriel Houses asking for diapers. It is critical that the eligibility requirement for this bill remain broad to accommodate those who have found themselves unexpectedly facing diaper need. There are safeguards in place at the Gabriel House Project and other charitable organizations that prevent misuse of their diaper programs.
The bottom line is, diaper need can affect many families and, currently, organizations that provide diapers to those families are being struggling to meet the increased demand engendered by the pandemic. SB 027 takes the important step of filling that need and provides much needed funds that will go directly to Colorado families experiencing diaper-need.