change a life Posts

Staff Spotlight: Dan Dilley

Danielle Charbonneau Public Relations Intern

Each staff member at Denver Rescue Mission has a special blend of ingredients that make them uniquely capable of serving our community – personal experience, passions, tribulations, God-given wisdom. In an effort to recognize each other more often, we have decided to start spotlighting a team member we think our supporters will love as much as we do. This month’s spotlight is on Dan Dilley, chaplain at The Crossing.


Dan Dilley was a bit out of his element when he first arrived in downtown Denver, coming from Blanca Colorado, a rural town outside Alamosa with a population of just over 400. First positioned as Volunteer Coordinator at the Lawrence Street Shelter, Dan was greeted by the downtown buzz of the infamous Triangle Park. His new job: a far cry from his former as a pastor at a small church.

While he said pastoring a small church “was a wonderful experience,” one that taught him to wear many hats, Dan was “stimulated to minister more.”

He found those ministering opportunities “by the truck load” at The Lawrence Street Shelter and was surprised that he really “enjoyed the energy of downtown.”  Moving put him closer to his family (2 kids and 6 grandkids) and being in the heart of the city was eye-opening.

“Going into the fire and the gunsmoke downtown was really good for me,” he said. “I was really able to learn some of the foundation of who the homeless are — where they come from. I was able to rub shoulders with them.”

Proximity, however, didn’t automatically equal discipleship: Dan said it was a process to work his way into the lives of those he encountered.

“Most of them wouldn’t give me the time of day,” he said. “I think they were asking, who is this guy and does he really care about us at all? There weren’t many opportunities to sit down in the Word at first. But these opportunities started to arise after I loved them and served them and made friends with them. I saw opportunities arise that would have never happened had I not done that first. That was a big lesson for me.”

Dan pursued the role of chaplain at The Crossing in 2012 where he got even more opportunities to disciple in a more consistent role.

“Now I’m really getting to do what God has stirred in my heart for years and years,” he said. “My favorite part is literally pastoring these guys, face to face, so that we can fellowship around the Word of God.”

Yet Dan admits the rule he learned at Lawrence Street still applies: One needs to truly embody the love of Jesus before they’ll be effective teaching the Word.

“I can beat you over the head with the Word of God as good as anyone can, but to just live our lives in front of people with a true compassion and a love of Christ…it goes so far to show that Jesus is real — that he’s not just some dead religion.” He said. “I have discovered that relationship evangelism is bigger than I ever knew it was.”

It’s that old adage: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Dan clearly tries to live by this principle. The Mission is lucky to have him. And Dan feels lucky to have the Mission.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Mission team,” said Dan. “I love the camaraderie of our team — a team where every person is as important and critical as the other – a team that loves the Lord and shares the love of Christ.”




Urban camping ban passed – What Now?

Written by: Brad Meuli, Denver Rescue Mission President

Since 1892, Denver Rescue Mission has seen changes in government officials, various ordinances that have affected how we can assist the homeless and tough economic periods of time.  But in the 120 years we have been in this city, we have not changed our chief goal – changing lives in the name of Christ. Our focus has remained the same; to help people become productive, self-sufficient citizens, leaving a life of desperation behind.

In the past few months, there have been protests, meetings and discussions regarding the urban camping ordinance. Last night, Denver City Council approved the homeless camping ban, thereby forbidding unauthorized camping on public and private property in Denver.

Intensity and emotion are two words that best describe the recent weeks leading up to the passage of this ordinance. Now that it has passed, our primary goal should be to join together as a community to serve homeless and low-income individuals and families. It’s more than making sure there are enough beds and services; it’s finding ways to assist the poor in their efforts to leave a life of poverty behind.

Whether you were for or against, disappointed or happy the ordinance passed, I ask that you take those feelings and move them into action. No one wants to see a man, woman or child sleep on a cold, hard sidewalk. Today, I would encourage you to decide what you will do with your feelings and passions. Let’s extend our hands in compassion by serving meals to the homeless, putting together a clothing drive, collecting canned food, or finding another way to make sure the poor and hungry are provided for.

At Denver Rescue Mission, you can become a mentor, help a refugee family acclimate to life in Denver, tutor a child at The Crossing, sort food and clothing, and serve meals. These are only a few of the many ways you can help.

Become a mentor!

In Metro Denver, there are approximately 40 organizations serving the homeless and low-income population. Take action! Do something that will create lasting change in our community.

Together we can change lives.

It is only by working together that we can make sure those who have little are given a second chance at a changed life. Denver Rescue Mission will be here continuing to make a difference. Join us!

Ways to get involved:



Host a Donation Drive

Become a Community Partner

A Car Changes Everything

Written by: Pierce O'Farrill, Vehicle Donation Coordinator

The Vehicle Donation Program started in 1998 with several objectives in mind. First and foremost, a vehicle provides reliable transportation for graduates and it allows increased employment and basic life opportunities. We’ve also seen an immediate spike in graduation rates! The New Life Program and STAR Transitional Program take dedication and hard work; receiving a car when they graduate is their light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am the new owner of a car all because of someone’s donation and I am grateful…I feel like a kid at Christmas,” says Gary, New Life Program Graduate. “This opportunity has opened new doors for me and everything is looking brighter.”

A donated vehicle has the power to change a life. An old truck that has been sitting in a donor’s driveway collecting dust for years can look like a brand new Cadillac to a graduate and can improve their quality of life exponentially.

The Vehicle Donation Program is entirely dependent on the wonderful donors who have the generosity to gift us a vehicle. We are very grateful for every single one of them and we strive to make the process quick and easy. We will take any car, truck, van, motorcycle or recreational vehicle, whether it runs, or not! We come to the donor and pick up the car, even if it needs to be towed. The paperwork is simple and only takes five minutes and in addition to helping the Mission, the donor may qualify for a tax deduction.

Help put someone in the driver's seat by donating a your car! It will change a life.

There are many great reasons to donate a vehicle and be a part of changing lives with Denver Rescue Mission! If you ever have an unused or unwanted vehicle or know someone who has one, it would be a real blessing if you would consider the Denver Rescue Mission’s Vehicle Donation Program and help us continue to change lives!

Visit for the details.