How You Can Help Aspen’s Homeless Population

Aspen is an incredibly philanthropic town. On any given summer day there’s either a benefit, a play produced by Theatre Aspen, a lecture sponsored by the Aspen Institute, or a nature tour led by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Organizations that bring the Roaring Fork Valley’s community together are also important and popular, which is why we dedicate time and resources to issues that impact our small mountain community.

Homelessness in Aspen

Anyone who’s visited Aspen, and the entire Roaring Fork Valley for that matter, knows that the real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. Quickly paging through The Aspen Daily News or The Aspen Times will reveal dozens of listings with price ranges in the millions. What’s worse is that rental prices are also on the rise, pushing out locals that have lived here for years. 

As a result, homelessness has become a serious issue throughout the valley and across Pitkin County. 

Get Involved with Aspen Homeless Shelter

The Aspen Homeless Shelter strives every day to keep people alive, safe and fed while they are homeless. It also helps its constituents achieve stability in their lives while preventing emergency room visits and involvement of law enforcement.

Visit the Aspen Homeless Shelter’s website and social media channels to stay updated on ways you can help. Even visitors passing through have opportunities to get involved. 

Past & Upcoming Benefits

In an effort to help our less fortunate community members, The Little Nell has partnered with several local organizations, namely the Aspen Homeless Shelter, where we have a direct and special connection. 

Little Nell Managing Director Simon Chen serves on the board, a cause that is very important to him.

“There are an increasing number of people that need assistance in within our valley,” he notes. “In our day-to-day life, as a society, we may not be aware of these needs, but they are very much a part of our community. In contributing our resources to help these individuals get back on their feet, we can all make a difference.”

Curry for the Cause

Curry for a Cause in spring of 2016

Our first event was a dinner titled “Curry for a Cause” at element 47 last spring. Guest chef Biju Thomas treated guests to a custom menu of Indian cuisine, and donations benefited the Shelter. 

We upped our efforts in August with a BBQ Cook-Off event that showcased offerings from Aspen’s favorite chefs, as well as silent and live auctions. It was hugely successful and resulted in $50,000 raised! This amount of money was enough funding for five months of food, laundry, showers, and job hunting assistance.

On March 23, 2017, get involved with The Little Nell!

Chicken Wing Throwdown

The next benefit you can participate in is the Chicken Wing Throwdown which takes place at the Sundeck atop Aspen Mountain. Local chefs will be competing with their own chicken wing recipes and visitors can help themselves to a platter of spicy, savory, and unique wings. All proceeds benefit Lift-Up, Feed My Sheep, Stepping Stones, and The Aspen Homeless Shelter. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the upbeat 10-piece band known for horns, vocals, keyboards (as well as touring with the Rolling Stones) will play two sets, with an upbeat session from DJ Dylan in between them.

Partners who are presenting the event are Hotel Jerome, The St. Regis Aspen, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Snowmass and The Little Nell. Each brings passion, commitment and talent to the event, as well as special aspects such as the performers secured through Jazz Aspen and The Little Nell, chefs from the hotel restaurants and more.

Enjoy piping hot chicken wings and good company, all while helping Aspen’s homeless population.