Beat the COVID Blues

Howdy stigma fighters. I know how much you care about your neighbors and our community. I also know how isolating and lonely it feels to do the right thing to prevent the spread of the virus. Nothing beats the loneliness and constant negativity like helping others. Here at Stigma, we challenge you to get involved in our Denver community. Below are four ways to participate. Please pick at least one, and make a difference in the lives of others (cause it will help you beat the COVID blues, too!).

The Story Writing Workshop

We are launching our fourth edition of The Story Writing Workshop, this time at SAME Cafe (2023 East Colfax). “But these stories don’t mean anything, when you’ve got no one to tell them to, it’s true.” – Brandi Carlile. And that’s what this is all about.

So many of our neighbors who have battled the pain and trauma of homelessness, food insecurity or addiction are never seen and never heard. At The Story Writing Workshops, every story is valuable.

The sessions will start Thursday, October 8th from 9am to 10:30am, and will continue every other Thursday. No writing experience is required. This isn’t about writing skill. It is about expressing emotions and telling stories in an effort to heal. We will discuss the topic for the day, and writers will be given 45 minutes to write to the prompt. Then, writers can read their stories aloud if they choose, and receive relentlessly positive feedback.

Drinks will be provided courtesy of SAME Cafe, and Stigma will have extra writing supplies. There is no fee to participate, but please be prepared to provide feedback and encouragement.

If listening to the challenging stories of our neighbors, and letting them know we care, sounds like a something you can do to spread a little love, we want you to participate.

Face coverings are required, writers will be spread out within the cafe, we are following all city and state guidelines, and we can only allow seven writers per session per COVID prevention rules. To reserve your spot to help launch this mission, please reply to this email (


Thanks to so many of you who have already donated to our efforts to provide Neighborlies (emergency relief food bags) to the over 3,000 homeless Denver Public Schools students served by the Homeless Education Network. Every dollar you donate will be matched by a grant-funded dollar. Between now and the October 15th, you can have double the impact by donating to Stigma and our Stigmattack fundraiser.

Pick Up Your Neighborlies

Even though we are trying to supply thousands of Neighborlies to DPS, there are still plenty of hungry neighbors soliciting at the intersections in Denver. Please reply to this message ( and let us know when you’d like to pick up some Neighborlies (near the intersection of Alameda and University). Please tell us how many you’d like, and we’ll reply back with pick-up instructions. Let’s spread a little food and love to our neighbors who need us!

A Little Help

Here’s a fantastic opportunity to get out and rake for our elderly neighbors. This one is not a Stigma project, but Sheri and I will be raking with our family, and we thought you might like the opportunity to participate, too. This is a great organization with a wonderful mission, and COVID is making it impossible to run the way they have in the past. Please consider volunteering to help, and get some fresh air while doing some good!

Published by Matt Salis

Matt Salis is a high-functioning alcoholic in recovery who is working to end the stigma associated with addiction and related conditions such as homelessness and mental illness.

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