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 17 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.

Redesigning Denver Rescue Mission’s Residential Family Programs

A Special Announcement from Brad Meuli, President and CEO


As we head into the Christmas season and plan for a new year of serving the most vulnerable population in Denver, I wanted to take a moment to update our community on some important work taking place at Denver Rescue Mission.

During the past six months, the Mission has been engaged in a strategic planning process with the goal of improving our programs and services. In late November, we launched a strategic plan that includes 15 main initiatives that we hope to implement over the next three years.  One of those initiatives that is an immediate priority for us is: Redesigning Denver Rescue Mission’s Residential Family Programs.

The most vulnerable population we serve are families. Our goal has always been to provide a safe and caring environment as well as the necessary programs to enable these families to become self-sufficient. Employment and finding permanent housing are priorities toward reaching that goal. In order for us to meet these needs in a more effective manner, in January we will be moving our families from Champa House to our largest facility at The Crossing (where we have 100 rooms dedicated to our STAR Transitional Program and serve many families). These nine single women and their children will be given the opportunity to automatically enroll in our STAR Program, where they will continue to receive shelter, meals, life skills educational classes, case management, and mentoring. In addition, the children will gain access to our youth development programs in the Denver Broncos Youth Center. The Champa House property will then be listed for sale. Our Glencoe property, which is a four-plex that the Mission purchased in 2013 in the Park Hill neighborhood as a pilot extension of the STAR Program, will also be sold. These four families will also be moved to The Crossing in January and stay enrolled in STAR. These changes will allow us to focus our resources on enhancing the STAR Program at The Crossing to help more families transition out of homelessness in the future.

The Crossing / STAR Transitional Program (6090 Smith Rd.).

The Crossing / STAR Transitional Program (6090 Smith Rd.).

As an organization, and as individuals, we will grieve the loss of Champa House and Glencoe, and I ask you to join me in praying for our program participants and staff who are being impacted by this decision. The Mission has never been about a specific place or building.  Instead, we have always been about meeting the spiritual and physical needs of our neighbors who need help through our services and programs. We have always served single-parent households in our STAR Program and will continue to do so with the attentive love and guidance that our staff provides to all our program participants.

We look forward to another 125 years of service in the Denver community and exploring ways to continuously improve our programs and services to transition more individuals and families out of homelessness, which is our ultimate goal. Thank you for partnering with us through your gifts, volunteerism and support, to help change lives in the name of Christ.



Holly Center Officially Opens :: Sleeps 200 Men In Need

Tonight is the first night we will sleep men in our new shelter facility, the Holly Center! This means that, starting today, the Mission will operate three separate overnight emergency shelter facilities in Denver (48th Street Center, Holly Center and the Lawrence Street Shelter downtown) with total capacity of 800+ men on any given night.

At the Holly Center, we are currently setup with 200 beds with the capacity for 228. These are the first permanent shelter beds for men in the City of Denver since the late 1980’s, providing much-needed capacity and stability to the shelter system. The Holly Center also featured lockers for storage, restrooms, showers, water fountains, laundry and extra outlets where our guests can charge their phones.


Mission staff members have been working closely with crews from JHL Constructors and DEC Architects over the past several months to complete this project, along with generous support from The Denver Broncos, The Patten-Davis Foundation, Keith and Kim Molenhouse and The Anschutz Foundation to make it a reality. To learn more about the building plans, read my March blog post here.

This facility will allow the Mission to serve those in our community who are experiencing homelessness for many years to come. We were thrilled to hold a Grand Opening Ceremony for the Holly Center on Wednesday, November 15 where Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Erik Soliván from the Office of HOPE, Mission staff and Board members, program participants and community supporters all came together to celebrate this new shelter. Check out some of the photo highlights below.


Guests will be transported to the Holly Center at night after having dinner at our Lawrence Street Community Center (LSCC). In the morning, guests will be transported back to LSCC for breakfast. This is the same procedure that  currently takes place for our 48th Street Center, which is an overflow shelter for men that the Mission operates in partnership with the City of Denver. The 48th Street Center can sleep up to 300 men. This is in addition to our Lawrence Street Shelter downtown which can sleep up to 315 men, making the total capacity of 800+ men receiving overnight shelter at Denver Rescue Mission on any given night.

We’re grateful to provide this safe refuge for our homeless and struggling neighbors, something that we’ve been doing since 1892. This year marks the 125th anniversary for the Mission and we’re grateful for all of our supporters and volunteers who walk alongside us to comfort and care for the most vulnerable in our community.

As winter approaches with frigid temperatures, the opening of the Holly Center has come at an important time. I am humbled that God has blessed the Mission with the opportunity to serve so many individuals in the name of Christ, and I pray that we meet their immediate needs well, with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.

Please join us in praying for the new Holly Center and each person who will be sleeping with us this winter at one of our three shelter locations.

God Bless,

Brad Meuli
President and CEO

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.


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.