mentoring Posts

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.

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)