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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!