How it Got Started
The idea for the Hydration Station at FoCo Cafe first began to take shape after we noticed that many individuals without a home or place of work were coming into the cafe to fill up their water bottles. We decided to do some research and after surveying dozens of community members, we learned that only 1 person knew of a place to get drinking water in the winter; a small gas station sink that had to be plugged in order to fill a water bottle.
After realizing that clean water was not accessible year-round for many of our community members, the cafe began to raise funds and support for a solution. After a year of fundraising, Fort Collins’ first all-season, 24/7 water fountain was installed at FoCo Cafe in July 2017.
It took over a year for the Hydration Station to become a reality, but with the help of FoCo staff, volunteers, and community members, it is now accessible for everyone. Some of the station’s largest contributors include the Fort Collins Lions Club, Jason and Kendra Bartley, Jim Loftis and Judy Billica, Kelly Connor, Urban Rural Design, Odell Brewing Company, and Elkay Manufacturing.
The Hydration Station is aimed at decreasing water scarcity in our community, and ensure that everyone has access to clean drinking water whenever they may need it.
Access to clean drinking water is a major human rights issue, one often overlooked in urbanized areas. Despite a clear need being present, there is limited research and information on access to drinking water and sanitation for vulnerable populations. The instillation of the Hydration Station is not only aimed at addressing this need, but also increasing awareness of under recognized issue.
With the installation of the Hydration Station, we hope that everyone will be able to get clean drinking water any time of the day all year round.
When the idea for the Hydration Station was first proposed, the city of Fort Collins was unsure of its potential for success. However, since the installation of the Hydration Station at the Cafe, the Fort Collins Community Action Network (FCCAN) worked with the Parks Department to install the first publicly-installed hydration station at Oak Street Plaza after the success of the Hydration Station. We hope that more accessible hydration stations will become available and the conversation on access to clean water will continue to create change in the Fort Collins community.