Denver Rescue Mission Posts

New series, but first blankets

9B9A9089

More on the new series next week because right now, we have a great need.

The temperatures are dropping and the heat is going up – at least at my house.  You see, the reality is many people right here in Denver don’t have the luxury of turning up the heat or pulling out blankets to stay warm. For whatever reason, they are homeless or in some cases they have a home. Turning up the heat or snuggling up with that blanket is indeed a luxury for many.

The Mission is partnering with the city again this year for the winter emergency shelter. Last night, we held a neighborhood meeting, but with the rainy evening, no one showed up.

The e-shelter is starting next Tuesday. We are in desperate need of blankets for 150+ men who will come to sleep here each night.

We made it easy! Donate blankets using our Amazon Wish List or drop off new or gently used blankets at the Lawrence Street Shelter (Park Ave. & Lawrence).

Winter Emergency Shelter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 degrees Fahrenheit

That was the reading on the farm thermometer a weekend in early September. As the weekend progressed, the leaves of our garden produce began to curl up and wither. By the time Monday came around and we all came back to work, almost all of our warm season crops – the pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, beans and peas – were all in varying stage of decay. Dead.

IMG_8582

Obviously, the early hard frost was most discouraging to our garden crew here at Harvest Farm. This group of men spent the majority of their summer working the soil, prepping the ground, starting seeds in the greenhouse and then transplanting them out into the garden beds. After the plants began to grow and eventually thrive, these same men spent countless hours weeding, watering, and then weeding some more so that the plants could grow in the most ideal conditions possible. Volunteers came and joined them for much of the summer, groups large and small, young and old, all working for the common purpose of keeping the plants alive and flourishing. Since we refuse to use any sort of chemical treatments for weed or pest control in our garden, this is full-time undertaking, and every hand we could find was welcomed and appreciated.  We were looking good.

But then a storm rolled in, a cold front that had lingered on the other side of the divide and then swooped down on us when we were all sleeping. We didn’t expect it to get so frigid. But even if we did see it coming, there is no way to cover almost two acres in down comforters. We were at the mercy of the weather and its capricious moods up here in Northern Colorado, as we always are, as all farmers are. When hail comes, there’s nothing we can do. When the wind whips up and drives down from the northwest out of Wyoming, there is nothing we can do. When no rain comes, when the reservoirs are low, there is nothing we can do. All we can do is accept what happens and decide how to best move forward. And that’s what we have been doing – what we always do.

The extent of the damage from that storm was bad, but I wasn’t surprised. This is Northern Colorado, after all. But I felt disheartened for the guys, for the men who put so much hard work into making this garden – their garden – into what is was. It seemed like a waste to have it all gone, just like that. But instead of wallowing in what we lost, we decided to talk about what survived, about what remained strong in spite of the weather. Looking over the shriveled land, we saw the lettuce greens, the spinach, the garlic, the squash and kale and Brussels sprouts and potatoes and tomatillos and carrots that were in great shape. We were excited to use it in the Farm’s kitchen and to send it to our numerous friends in the community. I took a bite of a freshly pulled carrot and tasted the incomparable flavor of soil and sweetness that supermarkets deprive us of. Suddenly, there seemed nothing to complain about.

There is a profound value to be found in a process, in the beauty of good work, even if the final goal somehow eludes us. 

IMG_8576

Grateful for a safe place, together

I had the pleasure of spending a few afternoons with Faith and Olivia while they were interviewed and photographed by The Denver Post. These two really brightened my week. Their family is living at The Crossing and participating in the transitional program. While they don’t have a ton of space, Faith is extremely grateful to be in a safe place, together.

You might have an idea in your head about what homelessness looks like. If you saw Faith and Olivia, you wouldn’t think they are homeless. At the end of the day, this mother and daughter are doing what many families do…pick the kids up from school, eat an afternoon snack, catch up about their day, play, laugh, smile, rest.

Read The Denver Post article here.

Craig Walker, photographer from The Denver Post takes Faith and Olivia's photo at The Crossing.

Craig Walker, photographer from The Denver Post takes Faith and Olivia’s photo at their room in The Crossing.