Posts by Brad Meuli

Brad's Bio

Brad Meuli

Brad is the President and CEO of Denver Rescue Mission. Born in Kansas, Brad is thrilled to now live in what he considers the most beautiful place in the world. Before coming to the Mission as staff, he was a member of the board. In 1999, God called Him into full-time ministry after a 17-year career in banking. His favorite part about working here is watching God do the work of changing lives. Program participants and their stories can often move him to tears and he is constantly reminded why he does the work he was called to do. We try to keep a smile on his face, but despite his Marine Corps background, the man loves to cry. As President/CEO for the past 14 years, he runs a tight, but very fun ship. He loves Chipotle and eating at chain restaurants that way you always know what you’re going to get. He has been known to don a turkey outfit to encourage his staff around the holidays and little known fact: he has ridden his bicycle across Kansas as well as from Denver to Phoenix to raise money for the Mission. Brad admires Jesus and his father more than anyone else. One was perfect and one has flaws, but he looks up to both of them.

Plans to Build A New $2.5 Million Shelter :: The Holly Center

We have an exciting announcement to share!

Earlier this month, after much prayer and consideration, the Mission’s Board of Directors approved a plan to renovate a section of our current Ministry Outreach Center (MOC), our warehouse facility in northeast Park Hill, to create a new overnight shelter for men called Holly Center. This renovation will provide 228 beds, the first new permanent shelter beds for men in the City of Denver since 1989, as well as shower and restroom facilities. All guests will be transported to Holly Center from our Lawrence Street Community Center downtown in the evening and back again in the morning by bus, in partnership with the City of Denver. Construction will begin as early as May, with a projected opening in the fall of 2017. JHL Constructors will be the general contractor. The project’s architect is Wayne LaGrone of DEC Architects.

 

For the last decade, it has been the Mission’s desire to expand overnight shelter services downtown to meet the growing demand of people in need. Since 2012, in order to meet these growing community needs for shelter, the Mission has partnered with the City of Denver to operate an overflow shelter in a city-owned facility offsite – currently an office building near I-70 & Peoria – which offers mats on the floor and no shower facilities on site. Originally, it was a cold-weather shelter, but has since expanded, out of necessity, to a year-round facility.

During the last two years, our leadership team developed plans to build a more dignified permanent shelter inside the MOC, and we are pleased that God is now opening the doors to make Holly Center a reality. We have zoning and neighborhood approval, and are just a few weeks from beginning construction. While we still expect to operate a City-owned overflow shelter in the future, Holly Center will add both capacity and stability to Denver’s emergency shelter network at a time that it is desperately needed.

Lives are transformed every single day because of our community of supporters, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue to minister to those experiencing homelessness and poverty in our community, not only at the Holly Center, but at all of our Mission locations now and in the future.

In the upcoming months, we ask for your prayers over this project and God’s ministry to the poor we serve.

 

Denver Rescue Mission among faith-based groups leading the way to help the homeless

Back in February, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for the unveiling of a new homeless study completed by the Baylor Institute for Studies for Religion on behalf of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM). It was a privilege to be in a room full of dignitaries and nonprofit leaders who are making a significant impact on homelessness across the country. And the study had some impressive results.

ASSESSING THE FAITH-BASED RESPONSE TO HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FINDINGS FROM ELEVEN CITIES was compiled in 2016 with data from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and local agencies in 11 “sample cities” — Baltimore; Jacksonville, Fla.; Atlanta; Indianapolis; Omaha, Neb.; Houston; Denver; Phoenix; San Diego; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.

Denver Rescue Mission was one of the local agencies to participate in this research and we are eager to share the results. Overall, faith-based organizations (FBOs) and missions are at the forefront when it comes to not only providing the homeless with shelter beds, but also effectively dealing with the root causes of homelessness. 

Some of the key findings from the Baylor Study include…

  • 58% of emergency shelter beds in these 11 cities are provided by FBOs
  • These FBOs save taxpayers $9.42 per every $1 invested by government funding
    • Essentially, $119 million in tax savings in the 11 cities over three years
  • FBO homeless ministries are at the forefront of program innovation to improve their ability to increase positive outcomes for homeless individuals and families
  • Cities with more FBOs tend to have less unsheltered homeless individuals and families
Faith-based organizations provide nearly 60% of the Emergency Shelter beds, what many consider the “safety net of all safety nets” for the homeless population. Graphic courtesy of Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

Faith-based organizations provide nearly 60% of the Emergency Shelter beds, what many consider the “safety net of all safety nets” for the homeless population. Graphic courtesy of Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

Find a link to the full report here.

The report itself is over 140 pages long. Denver’s portion begins on page 44. If you are passionate about our cause and homelessness, I encourage you to browse through these pages and explore for yourself how FBOs are changing communities one mission at a time.

This study, I believe, reminds us of the importance of the faith-based community in meeting the needs of the homeless as well as the significant effort that needs to continue to be made to collaborate with you (our community of supporters) and the government in working together toward solutions to issues of homelessness. We couldn’t do this soul-saving work without you!

Reaction to Clearing Homeless Camps Downtown – What is the Mission Doing?

This week in the news, you may have heard about the City of Denver clearing out homeless camps near Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence Street Shelter downtown at Park Avenue and Lawrence Street.

The Denver Post has the story here.

Photo credit: David Zalubowski, The Associated Press

Photo credit: David Zalubowski, The Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting today, March 8, 2016, the City of Denver, Department of Public Works and the Denver Police Department began enforcing encampment rules along area sidewalks in the Ballpark Neighborhood in an effort to protect the health and safety of our community, including those who are experiencing homelessness.

Signs were posted in the area advising that public spaces must remain free of obstruction. Any items encumbering public spaces will be removed and placed into storage for up to 30 days.

NOTICE

Photo credit: Jason Gruenauer, Channel 7 News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than anything else, Denver Rescue Mission wants to help people who are experiencing homelessness get off the street and become productive self-sufficient citizens. We feel these encampments outside our walls on the streets of our city are significant health risks and create an unsafe situation.

Over the last several months, city outreach workers have reached out to those camping on the streets. Once inside our facilities, Denver Rescue Mission staff work to connect homeless individuals with important services and establish lasting relationships. We sleep up to 640 men each night at our shelters and serve nearly 1,000 men, women and children every day at the Lawrence Street Community Center downtown, a new day center for the homeless.

Other local organizations, such as The Samaritan House, also offer shelter and access to services for the homeless. A full list of resources can be found here.

As a Mission, we will continue to support our homeless and hurting neighbors in every way we can through emergency services and life-changing programs. We ask our community to join us in prayer as the city and those experiencing homelessness go through this trying transition.

The Fridge

When my oldest son, Jake, returned home for Thanksgiving during his freshman year at college, he went straight to the refrigerator. He opened the door, looked at the abundance of food contained inside, sighed, then turned to his three brothers and sister and said, “You really have no idea how good you have it, or what it is like to not have a refrigerator filled with whatever you want.”

Now let’s be clear: Jake was not exactly starving at college. He had a meal ticket and all kinds of choices when he went to the school cafeteria. But his experience at school, of being away from home, and of having to fill his own small refrigerator helped him realize one of the things he missed most about home—good food anytime he wanted it!

How many of us are like Jake’s siblings? Or how many of us open the fridge, full of food, and still say there’s nothing to eat.

We’ve had all we needed for so long that we do not really know what it’s like to go without food. When we get hungry, we just stop at any one of the hundreds of fast food restaurants nearby and enjoy a meal.

But if you have ever been without, if you have missed some meals, gone hungry, tried to eat on a dollar a day—then you know the importance of a meal.

The simple act of providing someone breakfast, lunch or dinner, and maybe a little conversation, a little dignity, makes all the difference in the world. Often, a meal is all someone needs to start them on the road to a changed life, on the road to recovery and to becoming a productive, self-sufficient citizen.

Meals at the Mission are provided 365 days a year. Thanks for keeping our fridge full.

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Lawrence Street Community Center Approved

Praise the Lord!

The  Zoning Appeal Board met this week and approved the building of the Lawrence Street Community Center.

We are so excited to have a safe place for the homeless during the day. A place where their human dignity can be restored. Where they can have access to simple things like bathrooms, water, and showers. They will not have to “hang out” on the streets or in alleys.

The community center will also help our employees build and foster relationships allowing us to connect people to services. It will be a pathway to becoming  productive self-sufficient citizens.

Our goal is to see lives changed and we believe the Lawrence Street Community Center will not only allow us to be a part of God’s plan to do that, but will make our neighborhood a better place for everyone.

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