Denver homeless Posts

75,000 Meals and Counting At Our New Lawrence Street Community Center

By Guest Author: Kevin Hein, Lawrence Street Community Center Supervisor

After a long period of faithful waiting, we’re amazed at what’s happened so quickly since our new Lawrence Street Community Center opened. In just seven weeks, we’ve hosted two Holiday Banquets and served more guests than ever in our new expanded dining room.

Our new Lawrence Street Community Center dining area seats 275 people

Our new Lawrence Street Community Center dining room holds more than 300 people

During our legal challenges surrounding the community center last fall, I remember someone asking me…”Kevin, are people going to come visit this space when we open?” My answer was, “Of course they will!” Nobody, however, could have anticipated the surprising amount of guests that we’ve welcomed and served in this newly forming community.

We officially opened our doors on November 23, 2015 for our first lunch service and since then we’ve seen overwhelming use of our facility and a strong feeling of community forming.

A guest enjoys a warm meal at our fully ADA accessible center

A guest enjoys a warm meal at our fully ADA accessible center

Physical needs provided to-date:

  • 75,000+ meals have been served (averaging more than 1,500 meals every day)
  • More than 3,300 unique guests have visited our center
  • Protection from inclement weather, which was especially important during the December cold snaps
  • Overwhelming use of our 13 bathroom stalls

Spiritual, emotional and communal support developing:

  • Guests are finding new purpose as they care for themselves, others and our space
  • Our staff create community and purposeful relationships every day with those in need
  • We’re building character through group devotions, bible studies, women’s group, arts & crafts and other activities that get our guests involved
  • With the increased capacity at our new center, more men and women are learning about our life-changing programs and starting on a path to a new future

We feel blessed to do life with those in need and our new Lawrence Street Community Center has provided even more opportunities to form important bonds and change lives. Yet, we are often heartbroken by the overwhelming population of those experiencing deep brokenness and poverty here in Denver. As part of our Mission family, we ask that you please continue to pray for our new center and for all of our guests – that they all would discover the new and abundant life found through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Celebrating 1,000 and Counting

Written by: Andrew Neal, Congregation Relations Coordinator FSHI

In April, the Family and Senior Homeless Initiative (FSHI); a partnership between Denver Rescue Mission, Denver’s Road Home and the Mayor’s Clergy Council, celebrated moving our 1,000th family/senior into permanent housing. Community partners, mentor teams, past program participants, and city representatives gathered together at the City and County Building to commemorate this truly remarkable milestone, which was reached far more quickly than anticipated – three and half years early!

While we have already achieved our initial goal, we also recognize that there is still more to be done.  As we celebrate the successes of the past, we also prepare to serve more homeless families and seniors in the future. We will set our sights on achieving a new goal:  1,500 homeless families and seniors in permanent housing by 2015. This new goal will not be reached without the continued support of the faith community in the Metro Denver area.  We’ve partnered with 350 congregations and businesses, but are focused on extending our mentoring partnerships.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock with families mentored and housed through FSHI

Mentor teams empower instead of enable, and love instead of judge families and seniors. For this reason, 86 percent of families and seniors are still in permanent housing one year later. God has blessed this ministry with mentors who open their hearts and homes to the homeless.

While we continue to celebrate the 1,000 families and seniors whose lives have been changed, we will look to the future with excitement and expectation.

1,000 – It seems like such a large number, but every day I am reminded each of those 1,000 families and seniors, has a name, each name has a story, and each story is a reflection of God’s everlasting love.

The 1,000 families and seniors has a name and story that reflects God's everlasting love.

Become a mentor. Impact a life today – donate.