Posts by Hannah Baltz-Smith

Hannah's Bio

Hannah Baltz-Smith

Hannah serves as the Community and Events Specialist for Denver Rescue Mission’s Northern Colorado outreaches at Fort Collins Rescue Mission and Harvest Farm. Her passion for planning special events as well as connecting with the community stem from time spent as an event logistics coordinator for the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association. With roots in Golden, Hannah loves everything about Colorado. From the 300 days of sunshine annually, to the “purple mountain majesties”, she’s blessed to call this place home.

Local Comedian Paying it Forward

For most of us, we have a network of support – spouse, family, friends, mentor, small group, co-workers – we can call on in times of need. These are people we trust and feel comfortable asking for help, regardless of the situation.

For a moment, imagine you didn’t have anyone in your life you could go to for support. Now suppose you find yourself in the midst of a crisis. It could be loss of a job, receiving an eviction notice, being diagnosed with a physical or mental illness, among other things. What would you do? Where would you turn?

In 2010, local comedian David Bublitz found himself in a dire situation. He’d lost sight in one eye and was suffering the intense pangs of depression. Also, the health of his mother was in decline. He felt lost, had abandoned all hope and even attempted suicide.

Feeling completely adrift, David spent most of the next year in and out of the hospital dealing with mental health issues. By the end of 2012, he was feeling better and entered into the developing comedy scene in Northern Colorado. Soon his depression would swing into a manic state. It took four different doctors before David was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, by that time, he’d burned a lot of bridges. His support structure was gone and he was no longer welcome back home. At this point, he found himself with no one to call and nowhere to go.

That’s when David became a guest at Fort Collins Rescue Mission. For about a year, he relied on the support and services we offer. Not only did he receive warm meals and a safe place to sleep at night, he also found hope and a sense of purpose. With encouragement from staff, he decided to “get back out there” and pursue his passion of stand-up comedy.

Fast forward to February 2017: David has been in stable housing for two years and he’s successfully managing his mental health diagnosis. He credits the help he received at Fort Collins Rescue Mission for saving his life and enabling him to get back on his feet.

To show his gratitude, he organComedian David Bublitz_event picized the “Colorado Comedy Showcase” on Feb. 10 at the historic Rialto Theater in Loveland. Nearly 100 guests came out to hear David, who opened the show with his own “greatest hits” comedy set, and three of his stand-up comedian friends. It was a laugh-a-minute show!

David committed that a portion of every ticket sold would be donated to Fort Collins Rescue Mission. Nearly $300 was raised to benefit the homeless and hurting that turn to Fort Collins Rescue Mission for help. David believes that what goes around comes around and he’s thrilled to be able to give back by paying it forward to others in need.

Fort Collins Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the lost, broken and hopeless in our community. We meet people at their physical and spiritual points of need with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens. David’s story is just one example of how we’re changing lives.

 

Harvest Farm Fall Festival Bridges Family Fun and Addiction Awareness

The leaves are changing color and the smell of autumn is in the air.  That means it’s time for family fun at Harvest Farm’s 14th Annual Fall Festival & Corn Maze!

While there are other corn mazes to choose from, Harvest Farm’s Fall Festival & Corn Maze offers so much more than just twists and turns.  In fact, the event serves to advance Denver Rescue Mission’s sission statement in several ways.

First, it promotes “productive, self-sufficient citizenship” by involving the New Life Program participants in the preparation and operation of the festival. For example, the men use their God-given talents and trade skills like carpentry, electrical work and welding to construct nearly all of the festival grounds. Others in our program have artistic talents which are channeled into the design and creativity of the attractions. Because everything is meticulously hand-crafted with love, it sets our festival apart from the commercial, pre-fabricated feel of other fall festivals.


Additionally, the men assist with the festival operations by staffing the attractions. From greeting guests as they enter the corn maze to preparing hand-popped kettle corn, the men are a critical part of the event.

 

By providing opportunities for our men to engage with festival guests, they have a chance to shatter guests’ stereotypes of what it means to be an “addict” or “homeless”. With these interactions, our men begin to realize these terms are simply labels; it does not define who they are as person. Through hard work and positive reactions from festival guests, they gain a sense of self-worth and pride. For many, this is a new and welcomed feeling.

The Fall Festival also provides a chance for the community to learn about how Harvest Farm is “changing lives in the name of Christ.” Taking turns as hay wagon tour guides, our program participants explain to guests the unique opportunities for life change through the New Life Program. They share personal stories of obstacles they’ve faced, challenges they’ve overcome and their hopes for the future. This aspect makes our Festival so unique and truly sets us apart from the competition.

Attending the Fall Festival means guests are directly supporting the New Life Program and helping once broken men turn their lives around. Proceeds from ticket purchases, concessions and merchandise sales are reinvested into the program to ensure it thrives for years to come.

Not only does the Fall Festival & Corn Maze provide opportunities for fall time family fun, it supports a great cause.  We hope you’ll join us this October!  For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit: www.harvestfarm.net/fall-festival.

 

 

More Than Just A Homeless Shelter

Have you ever been down Jefferson Street in Fort Collins? If so, then you’ve undoubtedly seen our building. You know, it’s the one with the facade that resembles The Alamo. While passing by, you may have asked yourself, “What goes on inside those walls?”

Sure, you’ve probably seen the line of people gathered outside with all of their worldly possessions in tow. But what happens once they enter?

fcrm

Fort Collins Rescue Mission is primarily known for providing vital services like overnight shelter and meals for people in need. However, the Mission is so much more than that. Inside our facility, we offer compassion, kindness and hope as well as provide opportunities for men and women to get back on their feet through life-changing programs and spiritual guidance.

We believe everyone who comes through our doors deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. One of Jesus’ most interesting teachings is that our commitment to him can be measured by how we treat other people, especially those who have been rejected by society for one reason or another. Whether someone is experiencing homelessness as a result of being laid off, undergoing a divorce, seeking escape from domestic violence, suffering from financial burden, or being released from prison, they can turn to Fort Collins Rescue Mission for help. A hearty meal, a hot shower and a place to lay their head — we are here to meet them at their physical point-of-need.

A Step in the Right Direction
Moreover, we go beyond just offering a meal and bed for the evening; we also meet people at their spiritual point-of-need. Fort Collins Rescue Mission offers a short-term, faith-based, transitional program for those seeking life change called Steps to Success. Through the program, we provide opportunities for adult men and women to become productive, self-sufficient citizens. Our Steps to Success program is three to nine-months-long and combines one-on-one case management, life-skills workshops, work therapy and spiritual engagement. Once completed, individuals will have what they need to successfully re-enter society.

Case Management
Having lost everything, some people come to us with literally nothing but the clothes on their back. Sometimes what’s missing includes essential documents like a birth certificate and social security card. When you lack these critical pieces of information, it’s impossible to secure employment, among other things. That’s where our case managers can help. Each program participant receives comprehensive case management to help them gain access to necessary services, including housing resources, mental health care providers, educational opportunities, and beyond.

Steps to Success Program

Training for Success
Additionally, we provide a variety of life-skills classes that impart the tools necessary for individuals to become independent and self-sustaining. For example, we offer workshops that emphasize things like developing critical thinking skills, letting go of destructive habits, learning to build positive relationships and how to set healthy boundaries. We also focus on setting goals, employment readiness, developing budgets and more. These trainings help build confidence and self-esteem and provide the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to tackle life’s challenges.

Taking Pride in Work
Another critical component of the program is called Work Therapy, which teaches responsibility and accountability. Participants engage in daily assignments which can include helping in the kitchen, lending a hand with facility maintenance or assisting with operations. These small chores provide opportunities for “small wins” and allow participants to feel a sense of pride for meeting goals and accomplishing daily tasks.

Spiritual Guidance
Perhaps the most important element of the program is the spiritual factor. Every evening, volunteers from local churches lead on-site chapel service. They offer guests words of encouragement and deliver powerful messages of forgiveness, peace and love. They shine a light in midst of darkness. They are a beacon of hope. Similarly, our staff host routine group bible studies. By spending time in the Word and learning about the power of God’s love, participants discover greater meaning and purpose for their lives. They also have opportunities to develop relationships and build supportive community networks by attending local church services and participating in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Finishing Proud
Upon graduating the program, participants have a new perspective, a reinvigorated sense of purpose and are surrounded by strong community support. These are all key to sustained success as they transition into their new life beyond our walls. The old saying is true: If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. But teach that man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Interested in learning more about how we’re “Changing lives in the name of Christ”?

Visit us at our OPEN HOUSE at 316 Jefferson Street on Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 11am – 1 pm. Click here to learn more. See you there!

open house