May 2012 Posts

Celebrating 1,000 and Counting

Written by: Andrew Neal, Congregation Relations Coordinator FSHI

In April, the Family and Senior Homeless Initiative (FSHI); a partnership between Denver Rescue Mission, Denver’s Road Home and the Mayor’s Clergy Council, celebrated moving our 1,000th family/senior into permanent housing. Community partners, mentor teams, past program participants, and city representatives gathered together at the City and County Building to commemorate this truly remarkable milestone, which was reached far more quickly than anticipated – three and half years early!

While we have already achieved our initial goal, we also recognize that there is still more to be done.  As we celebrate the successes of the past, we also prepare to serve more homeless families and seniors in the future. We will set our sights on achieving a new goal:  1,500 homeless families and seniors in permanent housing by 2015. This new goal will not be reached without the continued support of the faith community in the Metro Denver area.  We’ve partnered with 350 congregations and businesses, but are focused on extending our mentoring partnerships.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock with families mentored and housed through FSHI

Mentor teams empower instead of enable, and love instead of judge families and seniors. For this reason, 86 percent of families and seniors are still in permanent housing one year later. God has blessed this ministry with mentors who open their hearts and homes to the homeless.

While we continue to celebrate the 1,000 families and seniors whose lives have been changed, we will look to the future with excitement and expectation.

1,000 – It seems like such a large number, but every day I am reminded each of those 1,000 families and seniors, has a name, each name has a story, and each story is a reflection of God’s everlasting love.

The 1,000 families and seniors has a name and story that reflects God's everlasting love.

Become a mentor. Impact a life today – donate.

Urban camping ban passed – What Now?

Written by: Brad Meuli, Denver Rescue Mission President

Since 1892, Denver Rescue Mission has seen changes in government officials, various ordinances that have affected how we can assist the homeless and tough economic periods of time.  But in the 120 years we have been in this city, we have not changed our chief goal – changing lives in the name of Christ. Our focus has remained the same; to help people become productive, self-sufficient citizens, leaving a life of desperation behind.

In the past few months, there have been protests, meetings and discussions regarding the urban camping ordinance. Last night, Denver City Council approved the homeless camping ban, thereby forbidding unauthorized camping on public and private property in Denver.

Intensity and emotion are two words that best describe the recent weeks leading up to the passage of this ordinance. Now that it has passed, our primary goal should be to join together as a community to serve homeless and low-income individuals and families. It’s more than making sure there are enough beds and services; it’s finding ways to assist the poor in their efforts to leave a life of poverty behind.

Whether you were for or against, disappointed or happy the ordinance passed, I ask that you take those feelings and move them into action. No one wants to see a man, woman or child sleep on a cold, hard sidewalk. Today, I would encourage you to decide what you will do with your feelings and passions. Let’s extend our hands in compassion by serving meals to the homeless, putting together a clothing drive, collecting canned food, or finding another way to make sure the poor and hungry are provided for.

At Denver Rescue Mission, you can become a mentor, help a refugee family acclimate to life in Denver, tutor a child at The Crossing, sort food and clothing, and serve meals. These are only a few of the many ways you can help.

Become a mentor!

In Metro Denver, there are approximately 40 organizations serving the homeless and low-income population. Take action! Do something that will create lasting change in our community.

Together we can change lives.

It is only by working together that we can make sure those who have little are given a second chance at a changed life. Denver Rescue Mission will be here continuing to make a difference. Join us!

Ways to get involved:

Volunteer

Donate

Host a Donation Drive

Become a Community Partner