In Denver, there's a small nonprofit, OnTime4Recovery, dedicated to distributing watches to the homeless. Why? Because this small item is something most of us take for granted, and when a homeless person is able to keep a critical appointment with a doctor it might make a huge difference in their lives.
A significant portion of the homeless population suffer from mental illness (39%, SAMHSA). And 20-25% are suffering from serious mental health issues (bipolar disorder or schizophrenia). Arapahoe House has also estimated that 65% of addiction cases they encounter have co-occuring mental health issues. But when these individuals are able to keep appointments with their doctors and therapists, treatment can have a dramatic impact.
OT4R collects watches of all styles (especially those with alarm clock features), replaces batteries and then distributes these to the homeless population. Apart from helping the homeless make more of their appointments, these watches also help them to be on time for work, make them more independent in mindset, and promote self-sufficiency and self-esteem. OT4R distributed 341 watches in 2009 and 198 to date in 2010.
If you have an old watch you'd consider donating to OT4R, an easy collection system is ocurring on Friday, 4/2/10 at The Spillway Bar & Grill in Aurora (13740 E Quincy Ave, 80015 - Parker & Quincy). Bring your old (or new) timepiece in and you'll receive free admission to the show that night (featuring Lila Bloom & The E Project). Click here for more information about this show/donation drive.