At Denver Rescue Mission people are first! People who face challenges such as mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, family breakup, job loss, and more. We have been serving people with these needs for 127 years. It’s not just what happens inside of our walls that matters but also outside our walls.
On May 7, the Denver community votes on Initiative 300, also called Right to Survive. The title itself is misleading, without explanation it leaves a feeling that if you are not in favor of this you somehow believe people do not have a right to a bed, food, and health care. If this initiative passes, what happens outside of our walls will look drastically different.
If voters decide to pass this, our job at Denver Rescue Mission becomes much more difficult. I am afraid that our staff who go outside of our building to help people could be charged for harassment. The trash surrounding our downtown buildings becomes more difficult to manage. Camping in public places becomes acceptable, park curfews become non-existent and unpermitted food distribution becomes tolerable. The health and safety of our community is threatened. Sadly, Initiative 300 does nothing to help those living on the street.
At our very core, we want to help the most vulnerable people in our community. That’s what the Mission’s done for the past 127 years and will continue to do for years to come. If you live in Denver, please vote “No” on Initiative 300 and wherever you live please help us by volunteering, donating, or simply engaging in conversations with city officials and others in our community to work on the complicated issue of homelessness. I want to see people experiencing homelessness get the help they need, that’s why Denver Rescue Mission is here.