mentor Posts

Hey, did you know mentoring changes lives?

Written by: Aneta Storvik, Public Relations Coordinator

Imagine your friend passing away leaving two beautiful children in the hands of the court system. What would you do? Would you fight for custody of those children? That’s exactly what one woman did. Shannen spent her savings on lawyers to gain custody of her best friends children. Her efforts were well worth it; she prevented them from going into the foster care system.

But today, Shannen is fighting another battle –  fighting to provide a home for her new family. Through the Family and Senior Homeless Initiative (FSHI), she has hope! Shannen is waiting for a mentor team through FSHI to help her build a stable home once again.

FSHI empowers Metro Denver homeless families and seniors toward self-sufficiency through mentoring and deposit/first month’s rent assistance. Right now, there are 23 homeless families and seniors are waiting for mentor teams.

Mentor teams provide relational, physical and spiritual support to participating families and seniors. Make a difference in the life of a needy family or senior – it’s worth it for all involved.

When you mentor a family, you help them gain back get control of their life! “It  felt so good being back in a home you can call your own, and it’s so important to have a roof over your kids’ head,” Shirley, FSHI mentee family, relays. “Having mentor team was awesome too. They gave me so much good insight, and were never judgmental. I haven’t met anyone involved with this program who had a bad attitude.”

“We find it very rewarding for us,” expressed Marilyn, a past mentor. “We just like to help the families get on their feet.”

Want to help? Call 303.313.2440. for more information or visit www.FSHI.org.

 

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.

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:

Volunteer

Donate

Host a Donation Drive

Become a Community Partner

Young professionals impact youth

You’ve graduated college and you’re in the beginning stages of your career and looking for ways to give back.  There are multiple ways to volunteer; for Jenni it was mentoring, “I had recently switched jobs and knew that I needed to make volunteering more important in my life.” Jenni has been a mentor through Save Our Youth (SOY) since October 2011.

Jenni and Jonae

There are many benefits to mentoring through SOY. Jenni appreciates the time and commitment that the SOY staff places on matching mentors and mentees. Mentor specialists at SOY ensure that all youth are the ones requesting mentors. Most other mentoring organizations have parents or guardians request mentors – it makes a big difference when the child asks! Thorough interviews with mentors and mentees are also done to make sure all matches are compatible and share the same interests.

Jonae, Jenni’s mentee, enjoys spending time at Jenni’s house. “We did a project from, uh [Jenni cuts in] Pinterest! She did the whole project with me. We went to Home Depot to cut the wood and then we just ‘madge padged’ some pictures onto the wood,” said Jonae.

Drew Witt, another mentor through SOY, moved to Colorado to plant a Church downtown while starting his own painting company. When you ask Drew why he takes time out of his busy life for mentoring he says, “The need, there’s such a need for mentoring. To be able to give back and invest in kids, that’s where my heart lies.”

David and Drew

For Drew and his mentee David, they find themselves doing more ‘guy’ activities. “We had a really good time at the last Avalanche game because it went to overtime. It was 10:00 p.m. and we were going crazy!” recalls David.

SOY makes it a priority to provide all mentors with free resources. Almost weekly, mentors are emailed with FREE ticket opportunities for sporting events, plays or concerts.

There are many other kids like David, who before meeting Drew said, “I really wanted a mentor – someone I can look up to.”

Denver Rescue Mission (DRM) partners with SOY.  When families move in to The Crossing, all the kids between 10 and 17 years-old are informed about the mentoring program. Joe Bermingham, youth coordinator at DRM, believes that the mentoring program is a significant part in the youth experience. “The kids that participate in the mentoring program have a better chance of graduating high school and pursuing college. Becoming a mentor truly impacts a child’s future – it’s incredible to witness the impact,” says Joe.

What would it look like to actually take the time to invest in another life? To get to know them, spend time with them, and to love them? Find out by contacting Sarah Caldwell at SCaldwell@denrescue.org and begin the fulfilling adventure of mentorship!

Written by, David Gauch (Public Relations Intern)