Denver Rescue Mission Posts

Hit a Home Run Against Hunger

Join the Colorado Rockies, King Soopers and Denver Rescue Mission for the “Hit a Home Run Against Hunger” drive.

Join the Colorado Rockies, King Soopers and Denver Rescue Mission for the “Hit a Home Run Against Hunger” drive.

Please bring nonperishable or canned food items to the Colorado Rockies game on Friday, June 28 to help feed the poor and hungry in our community!

And when you shop at King Soopers from June 23 through July 20, be sure to show your support by making a monetary donation as you check out.

For more information please contact Lisette at Lisette@DenRescue.org or 303.313.2414

Break the Stigma: Myths About Homelessness

 

HOMELESSNESS: Myths Vs. Facts

 

PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS DON’T WANT TO GET A JOB.

The Fact is…

Experts at the National Coalition for the Homeless estimated that between 40 and 60 % of the homeless population in the United States have jobs.

However, most of those jobs are entry level, minimum wage positions. In Denver, if a person is making minimum wage, he or she would have to work 74 hours a week to afford a modest, one bedroom rental home at fair market rent. Even if a person did “roll up their sleeves” and work 74 hours a week, other obstacles still remain—groceries, utilities, transportation, insurance, child care, etc. Many people in our city simply do not make enough income to afford a rental apartment or home without some form of longterm assistance. This is why we offer a program called Family Rescue Ministry, which provides first month’s rent and deposit along with a mentor team. So, although research continuously shows that people experiencing homelessness have jobs, unfortunately, just getting a job isn’t the end-all solution.

 

HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE ADDICTS, SO IT’S THEIR FAULT THEY’RE HOMELESS

The Fact is…

Of the people enrolled in our programs, the number one reason they give for becoming homeless is job loss.

Other common reasons people become homeless are lowered wages, a health care crisis, increased rent, or a family emergency. For those who do struggle with addictions, mental illness is often at the root of their challenges. People living with mental health disorders are particularly vulnerable to drug and alcohol use. Rather than addiction causing homelessness, it’s more accurate to know mental illness can cause addictive behaviors and unhealthy coping mechanisms, which can lead to homelessness. Many of the people we serve tell us they grew up in homes with abuse, neglect and trauma. In critical development years, they never learned healthy coping skills or how to develop supportive relationships.

 

HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE JUST ENABLING HOMELESSNESS

The Fact is…

Our shelter system is designed to empower people Who are experiencing homelessness to pursue a path off the street.

Without shelters, people experiencing homelessness would not have basic resources for survival. Emergency services provide safety, dignity and hope. Places like our Lawrence Street Shelter and Lawrence Street Community Center provide these basic resources—meals, showers, laundry, drinking water, restrooms, electrical outlets, and safe places off the street and out of the elements. All of our emergency services facilities are staffed with employees who engage with guests, fostering relationships and offering information about our programs and services like Next Step, which is designed to guide people to find permanent and sustainable housing.

 

HOMELESSNESS IS SUCH A BIG CHALLENGE. THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO.

THE FACT IS…
You can do something.

Donate today and bring hope and lasting change to the lives of people experiencing homelessness.

Change Lives

   

Read the Full Newsletter

        Also in this issue:
  • Letter from the CEO
  • Father’s Day Celebration
  • Hit a Home Run Against Hunger
  • Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

Download Now

Letter from the CEO: June 2019

Brad Meuli

 

Letter from the CEO

Dear Friends,

Recently, there were some phone calls that came into St. Francis Center, a day shelter not too far from the Mission, and Denver Rescue Mission. The calls were like some others we have received in the past, where we are told that “our people on the street” are creating problems of one kind or another. (The caller meant the homeless people we serve.) FOX 31 News heard about this, and I was asked to comment.

In the interview I said, “People that are homeless are all our people. They’re not just Denver Rescue Mission people, they’re not just St. Francis people, they’re everybody’s people. And what we need to do is continue our efforts to make sure that we take care of people who are out there experiencing homelessness.”

Really, we are all God’s people, and he has called us to look after those who are struggling, who are poor, who are hungry, and destitute. Because of this, we are all in this together. No one organization, no one ministry, no one city department is responsible for solving the challenges surrounding homelessness. We have to keep working on this together, grinding it out and trying to impact one person at a time.

Most of us have a family member, or a friend, or know someone who has been homeless, who has lost their job or suffered from an addiction that has caused all kinds of problems. The truth is, these folks, are just like you and me. Most of us are just one paycheck or one catastrophe from homelessness. This is where we step in at Denver Rescue Mission, when there is no place else to go, we are the light at the end of the tunnel. Please continue to join us in making a difference, in providing hope to…our people, your people, my people. We are in this together.

God Bless,

Brad Meuli

Brad Meuli President & CEO

 

Help God’s people today

Donate to make an impact

Give Now

 

 

Also in this issue:

  • Letter from the CEO
  • Father’s Day Celebration
  • Hit a Home Run Against Hunger
  • Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

Download Now

Mother’s Day Magic!

Moving Forward

“Mom turned upside down is WOW!”

The definition of mom in the Webster’s Dictionary reads, “One’s mother.”

But for those who work at Denver Rescue Mission, we believe the definition of “mom” goes much further than that. In fact, we’d go as far to say the moms we serve embody true love and compassion. They are some of the strongest females we know. They are beautiful inside and out. And, they are our heroes day in and out.

The mothers we work with have overcome many obstacles in their lives. Despite these challenges, they’ve worked hard to get onto the path of self-sufficiency and into the STAR Transitional program or Family Rescue Ministry program.

The Mission staff member’s aren’t the only ones who think our moms are the best of the best. But, their very kids believe their moms are just as spectacular as us.

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When you ask 6-year-old Araiah what her favorite thing about her mom is she says, “I love her 100%. She feeds us and does fun stuff with us.”

 

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10-year-old Alaiza also had a sweet thank you message for her mom too, “Thank you for helping us and keeping us healthy and safe.”

 

We are in awe of all the moms we serve not just this Mother’s Day, but every single day. From our Denver Rescue Mission family, we are wishing the best Mother’s Day ever!

“We Are Columbine!”

Twenty years ago on April 20, 1999, news broke out across the nation of the tragedy at Columbine High School.

I was just ten years old at the time, living in Ohio, more than a thousand miles away from the events that took place here in Littleton. I was actually out of school for the day at a doctor’s appointment. We had gone out to lunch at a local pizza place when we heard the news and someone turned on a television in the corner. I still remember seeing the kids running out of the building—a video caught from a helicopter at the scene—and feeling a strange mix of confusion and fear. My mom was probably more devastated than she let on, and I’m sure she was glad we were not in school that day.

Other staff here at the Mission lived in Colorado at the time and have described the incredible sadness and fear they experienced in the days and weeks that followed.


“I was born and raised in Colorado. We define so much of our history based on before and after Columbine. The entire state was grieving for this terrible tragedy,” Nicole Tschetter, PR & Media Specialist, said.

The event marked a turning point for many of us. In the weeks to come, we all heard the stories, especially of the kids who stood up for their faith despite the threats. They were incredible stories of faith amidst tragedy, hope in the sight of fear and strength beyond words.

Last weekend, a group of 14 students from Columbine High School showed us another bright light of hope as they served meals to people in need at our Lawrence Street Community Center.

“What an incredible morning here at the LSCC…these kids sang and danced the entire time, and lit up the dining room like the 4th of July,” Eric Korb, Volunteer Coordinator at the Lawrence Street Community Center, said. “It was so beautiful to watch our guests smile, laugh and applaud as breakfast was served. One gentleman stopped me, and beaming ear to ear, asked, ‘Why are they so happy?’ I told him that they are a bunch of kids just enjoying life, and he replied, ‘Well, seeing them happy, makes me happy.’”

And seeing the kids happy was a welcomed surprise considering the events of the previous week. “With all of the events of last week, coupled with the focus on the students, their school and the anniversary, they could have come in quiet and sullen,” Eric said. But they came in dancing, smiling, laughing, and as Eric put it, just enjoying life. They even sang while they served, including a few school chants of “We Are Columbine!”

We are so grateful to these students for their generosity in taking time out of their weekend to build into our community and serve those in need. The hope they displayed is a great reminder that we are all in this together, serving one another and bringing joy into the lives of those around us. Thanks, Columbine High School! Check out the Mission’s Facebook page for a short video showing the students singing and serving!

Letter From the CEO: May 2019

Brad Meuli

 

Letter from the CEO

Dear Friends,

I am often asked, “How do we solve the issue of homelessness?” During my 20 years at the Mission, I have learned there is no single solution to solving this complex issue. If there was, we would have used it to solve this problem!

Helping people experiencing homelessness takes a collaborative effort. The more people involved with this issue, the better. City government, neighbors, businesses, other service providers, the faith community, and volunteers all make solutions happen. Partners who are in this with us are invaluable in helping people become productive, self-sufficient citizens.

This month’s newsletter talks about, and celebrates, four of these partners. Frankly, we could not list all of the partners we have worked with in our efforts to move people out of poverty, but we are so thankful for all of them.

Many of our partners never get credit, but they really are unsung heroes. Sometimes, organizations we work with do what they do out of faith beliefs, sometimes because they just care, but all of them do it because they believe—like us—that helping people is good and the right thing to do. I hope you will enjoy reading about these four partners and will think about what you, your friends, your church, or maybe your company might be able to do to partner in this critical work.

Let me finish with this quote, “You can tell a man’s [or woman’s] character by what he [or she] does for others who can do nothing for him [or her].”

These four partners, like you—our donors and volunteers—are people of character. Thank you for your partnership!

God Bless,

Brad Meuli

Brad Meuli President & CEO

 

Donate Today! And Help People

Experiencing Homelessness Move Forward

Give Now

 

Read the Full Newsletter

May 2019 Newsletter Cover

Also in this issue:

  • Mother’s Day at the Mission
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Rockie’s Cleanup

Download Now

Moving Forward: How We Work Together To Change Lives

Moving Forward

When she speaks, Margarita does so with a wisdom that only comes with age. She’s from Barcelona and moved to the states to go to college (she graduated from UC Berkeley). She used to live in a duplex, but when they raised the rent, Margarita could no longer afford to pay it.

She’s been experiencing homelessness in Denver for three years. One Thursday, while she was sitting in the Lawrence Street Community Center, we sat down with her and she shared some of her wise words with us. “Some days I go through things that make me want to pull my hair out,” she said. “Some days I just want to [give up]. But I know that’s not the answer. For me, the answer is to help someone. I never let a day pass that I don’t help somebody. I think that if you help someone move forward—you move forward.”

She isn’t alone; we couldn’t agree more. Because of you, we’ve been helping people move forward for 127 years. And it’s not just us, it’s our partners, too.

 

Help people Move Forward

Donate now and help people like Margarita move forward.

Change Lives

 

Hear are a few ways your donations help us collaborate with organizations and make a difference.

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HOUSING RESOURCES

“[OneHome] works with the Mission on improving access to housing resources for people experiencing homelessness enrolled in Next Step,” said Bethany MaynardMoody, OneHome program manager. “The ultimate goal is to work together to end homelessness, and not one organization can do that alone, so if we all work together, then that collective impact is quite powerful.” Together, with Bethany and her team, we are finding housing resources through their coordinated entry database for our Next Step members, and our partnership is already having a big impact. This year, 278 people in Next Step have successfully moved out of our shelters and found a path toward housing.

2

WELLNESS AND FAMILY

Every year, dozens of our New Life Program participants work out with Mark McIntosh and his team of volunteers at A Stronger Cord. They have four gyms in the metro area, all focused on challenging each other to become more fitness-minded, dependable and productive. They have a saying, “It all starts with the workout,” says Mark, founder of A Stronger Cord. Of course, Mark and his team believe exercise is important to our health, but they also believe it’s about something more than just being in shape. “When you spend time with these guys experiencing homelessness,” said Mark, “you begin to realize that a lot of them don’t have a family. For us, it’s not just about the workout, it’s about the relationships and the community that comes with pursuing wellness. It’s about family.”

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AN ATMOSPHERE OF LEARNING AND SUCCESS

Upon moving into The Crossing, our transitional living facility, parents have to make a decision to keep their children at their original school or transfer them to our neighborhood schools in Park Hill. The STAR youth program, in partnership with Denver’s Homeless Education Network, provides guidance for parents on how to make the best choice for each child. Once a decision is made, the Homeless Education Network helps provide school uniforms, meal assistance and transportation needs. “Homeless Education Network is a true blessing to our families,” said Joe Bermingham, Denver Rescue Mission’s youth program coordinator. “School and education are important for our youth, and our partnership creates an atmosphere of learning and success; they remove barriers, providing avenues for homeless children to have a successful school experience.”

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MEALS

Your donations, coupled with the contributions of We Don’t Waste, help us provide thousands of meals every day. “We Don’t Waste is one of our most important food partners,” said Jeremy Stubbs, food distribution coordinator at the Mission. “Because of them, we always have fresh vegetables, fruit and other essentials on-hand.” Since 2009, We Don’t Waste has recovered more than 30,000,000 meals for people in need. They deliver food to more than 60 human services agencies (plus about 130 more through partner redistribution), and we are thankful to be one of their partners. “We’re proud of the partnership that has been created, fostered and grown with Denver Rescue Mission,” said Arlan Preblud, founder and executive director at We Don’t Waste. “[Together, we are making a] lasting impact on serving those less fortunate in our community.”

Read the Full Newsletter

May 2019 Newsletter Cover

Also in this issue:

  • Letter from the CEO
  • Mother’s Day Celebration
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

Download Now

Easter Egg Hunt Brings Happiness & Excitement

blog 4

blog 2The afternoon rain had just stopped and groves of kids from the Mission’s STAR Transitional Program started to skip down The Crossing’s sunroom hallway. As they passed the windows, they would stop, point and look out at the amphitheater courtyard.

There outside in the grass were brightly-colored, neon Easter eggs freckled among the grass. You could feel the excitement, and almost soon to be sugar rush, as the kids continued to fill the room.

But, before they could go racing to grab their eggs and candy, Joe Birmingham, the Mission’s youth coordinator, had a question for the group — “This is a fun event, but what is Easter really about?”

Several kids excitedly blurted out things like, “Easter eggs,” “the Easter Bunny,” and “Candy.”

Then one kid raised his hand and said, “The resurrection of Jesus.”

Blog 1The parents that had accumulated around the sides of the room “aww’d” at the answer and a soft clap filled the room.

Joe exclaimed, “Exactly!” He then went on to give instructions. It was go time!

3-2-1… the youngest kids went outside first, followed by a thunder of enthusiasm as the older kids and teens hit the courtyard a few minutes later. Immediately thereafter laughter, the clinking of eggs hitting together in each basket and feet crunching on grass filled the air. It was the sight of pure happiness.

Once all the trees and bushes had been looked through and every corner of the lawn had been searched, the group headed inside for an ice cream party with candy, sprinkles and more.

blog 3It was the perfect Saturday Easter egg event full of joy. And, none of it would have been possible without the handfuls of the Mission’s donors who supplied the hundreds of Easter eggs. We are extremely fortunate to have donors who go above and beyond to make sure the individuals we serve feel loved. Thank you.

We Hit Our Neighborhood Cleanup Out Of The Ballpark!

Cleaning up trash first thing on a Saturday morning the day after the Colorado Rockies home opener is not everyone’s idea of the perfect weekend plan. Especially when there’s a lot to pick up! But, for some, they are more than prepared to “step up to bat” and clean the neighborhood.

For the past 13 years, the Colorado Rockies and Denver Rescue Mission have rallied together for their annual Ballpark Neighborhood Cleanup. This year was no exception!

The morning after the Rockies’ took on the LA Dodgers in their home opener, Denver Rescue Mission Staff, Colorado Rockies’ staff, participants in the Mission’s programs, and members of the Mission’s Young Professionals group joined together to clean up the area around Coors Field.

This year’s turnout was one of the highest yet, with more than 70 individuals showing up to volunteer, including Jim Kellogg, Colorado Rockies Vice President of Community & Retail Operations, and Dick Monfort, owner of the Colorado Rockies. The volunteers broke out into teams of seven and tackled different routes around the area to clean up.

The annual event is more than just the opportunity to clean up the area. It is also a way to demonstrate a neighborly spirit and commitment to the Ballpark community. A handful of the volunteers even came back from the cleanup saying they had run into local business owners and neighbors who thanked them for picking up the trash.

So, while the idea of picking up trash isn’t the most exciting thing to do, giving back to a community we work and live in is.

Want more of our action from the day of? Check out our news coverage from FOX31 here.

Celebrating The Best Of The Best Volunteers- We are lucky to have YOU!

It’s National Volunteer Week! Denver Rescue Mission and Fort Collins Rescue Mission are celebrating all of our incredible volunteers. It’s simple— our volunteers are heroes. We could not change lives in the name of Christ without the help of our volunteers. From standing outside for our Thanksgiving Turkey Drive to waking up early and staying late to serve meals, words fail to express our gratitude for our volunteers.

In 2018, we had almost 18,000 volunteers step up to the plate. We are thrilled to give the community a snapshot of the passion and commitment these volunteers bring to the table every day. Read their stories below. Feel inspired? You can sign up to make a direct impact.

Thanks for helping us #SERVEDenver and #SERVENoco


MICHELLEMICHELLE GOODMAN

“I believe part of the Great Commission is to bring Heaven to Earth – and I see the Kingdom of God advancing at the Rescue Mission. I am so grateful for the guests, the staff and all of the volunteers who are making this happen,” Michelle said.

Michelle has been volunteering as a chapel provider at Fort Collins Rescue Mission for just under a year. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with our homeless brothers and sisters. She is drawn to help all of God’s children!

When asked about her most impactful experience, Michelle recalled praying for the chapel to be full for her service. Low and behold, she arrived to find the chapel packed! She prayed for the healing of the guests and felt His presence in the chapel.

Michelle, thank you for your contribution in the spiritual lives of our homeless neighbors!


GGEORGINAEORGINA BUSH

“I love volunteering at the Mission because I know this is a place of much caring, love and hope,” Georgina said.

Georgina’s been volunteering with the Mission since the beginning of 2018 (right after she returned from Europe.) She is a regular volunteer serving in the dining area at the Lawrence Street Community Center.

She says she is continually blown away by the heartfelt, sincere and positive energy our staff and program participants have.

“There is a very genuine and beautiful blessing in this place,” she said. “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of it.”

We are SO lucky to have you be a volunteer Georgina!


Rebecca LoveallREBECCA LOVEALL

Rebecca serves Fort Collins Rescue Mission as a chapel provider; drawing from her own life experiences to connect with our guests and contribute to their spiritual lives. She began her work with the Mission in April, 2018.

Although Rebecca grew up surrounded by the message of Christ, she encountered several abusive figures in her life. “My life has been transformed by God’s love. God rescued me from abuse, Pharisaism, and so much hopelessness, how can I not turn around and do the same for others. I use my experience (pain) to speak to other hurting people in such a way as to bring them hope. There is nothing more redemptive than that,” Rebecca remarked on her experience.

After sharing her story and providing a message in a chapel session, guests will often come up to Rebecca and thank her for speaking directly to them. Several people relate directly to her story and feel encouraged by her strength. These experiences are most impactful for Rebecca!

You’re an inspiration, Rebecca! Thank you for all that you do.


CHRISTINA OLDHAMCHRISTINA OLDHAM

For the past 5 plus years, Christina has been the ADT Citizenship Team Captain setting up monthly opportunities for team members to volunteer at the Mission. She’s gotten a taste of many different volunteer opportunities by working in our Ministry Outreach Center and Lawrence Street Community Center kitchen.

The most impactful experience Christina has had is when she went down to the Lawrence Street Kitchen one Sunday morning to serve breakfast.

“My tired grumbling about having to get out of a nice warm bed that morning ended after parking my car and making the walk to the kitchen door. This trek walked me by people sleeping on the streets – not in a nice warm bed – that were waiting for a warm meal. It is humbling to realize the privilege I currently have in my own life and that even the basics of shelter and food are not available to everyone is profound,” Christina said.

We appreciate all you and ADT do for us Christina!


PAULPAUL ACKERMAN 

Though I was born with disabled arms, I don’t let that stop me from doing my assigned tasks around the Mission. Many guests observe me working with my arms, and some have told me how they watch me and feel inspired to press through in their challenging circumstances,” Paul said.

Paul started volunteering in guest relations at Fort Collins Rescue Mission in June, 2018. He assists guests with check-in and works closely with our Emergency Services Coordinator. He enjoys serving the people of God and learning the stories of our guests.

At one point during his service, Paul encountered a guest who had an underdeveloped hand on one of his arms. The guest was inspired by Paul and how much he witnessed him doing with his arms. He transitioned out of the Mission after a short period. Paul was moved by his experience with this unique guest!

Keep up the good work, Paul!


VRNDA DASI NOEL

Vrnda and her group from Ability Access are an incredible volunteer team. Vrnda is the owner of Ability Access, an organization that helps those who are developmentally disabled with day training services.

The dynamic group has been volunteering at The Crossing since 2007. During their 11 years volunteering, they’ve been a tremendous help in preparing the dining room for lunch, cleaning up from breakfast and serving lunch to residents and staff.

“My group enjoys volunteering at the Mission because they like to be fully integrated with their community. They enjoy interacting with folks and serving others,” Vrnda said. “The participants of Ability Access appreciate the respect and kindness they receive from residents and staff.”

Thank you Vrnda and Ability Access for helping to make a difference in the community we serve!


CHASE JACKSONCHASE JACKSON

Chase only recently moved to Denver, but quickly picked up volunteering at the Mission.

I moved to a Denver neighborhood where the issue of homelessness is a daily and ever-present reality, and volunteering with the Mission gives me the opportunity to make a direct impact within my own community,” Chase said.

Chase works as a kitchen assistant at The Crossing. He helps prep, cook, serve and clean while he volunteers. Getting to build relationships with the community we serve is one of the most impactful parts of Chase’s time at the Mission.

He said, “Working side-by-side every week with the same guys in the program has humanized homelessness for me in a way I haven’t experienced before.”

Keep on rockin’ it Chase!


ANDREA SEVERSONANDREA SEVERSON

An avid yogi, Andrea volunteers teaching a yoga class at Harvest Farm once a week. She began her good work here in early 2018.

Andrea enjoys sharing yoga with the New Life Program participants, exposing them to a new experience, many of them know nothing about. She shared, “We have guys sometimes who come to their first class in jeans, no idea what to expect, and who come back the next week in workout clothes and with other new recruits in tow, then they become dedicated regulars. It’s awesome to see, and tells me they appreciate the opportunity.”

Being able to witness the men grow and graduate the program is the most fulfilling part of Andrea’s volunteer work. She aspires to contribute to the participant’s recovery and life journey.

We are so thankful for Andrea’s caring heart and commitment to our New Life Program!


RYAN CARTER

A passionate believer, Ryan began his work as a chapel provider and mentor at Fort Collins Rescue Mission in 2017. He focuses on lifting up our homeless neighbors to a place of honor, dignity, and hope.

As we talked, he began to release forgiveness to those who had hurt him. He said it felt so good, but it also hurt, because he was opening up his heart again for the first time in decades,” Ryan said when speaking to a homeless guest.

Ryan enjoys engaging with our guests and giving his time and attention to those undergoing hard times. He feels most impactful when guests allow him to be part of the restoration and recovery process.

Thank you for opening your heart to our guests, Ryan!


AMY BAMY BURANT

Amy Burant has been volunteering at The Crossing since September, 2017. She started volunteering because she wants to contribute to the solution of ending homelessness in our city.

Amy said that the most impactful part of her experience is getting to know our program participants who work in the kitchen and have shared their stories of homelessness and hope.

“I feel really hopeful when I see the residents who are taking positive steps in their transition. I love that New Life Program participants are rewriting their story with the help of the Mission. I don’t have a lot of money to donate, but I do have time I can give,” Amy said.

Thank you so much for your time Amy!