Good News: Urgency to a New Life

By Aneta Storvik, PR Coordinator for the Denver Rescue Mission

Urgency—a word that sums up Michael’s journey to a new life. His journey begins at the Lawrence Street Shelter.

One day, after finishing breakfast at the shelter, instead of moving from his seat to go back outside, he sat there. He was afraid that if he had walked out those doors, then he would have died—if not physically, emotionally. So he waited with determination and carried that sense of urgency with him, and spoke with Jay Earl, the intake chaplain, about starting the New Life Program—a rehabilitation program at Denver Rescue Mission.

His sense of urgency paid off. By that evening, he was enrolled in the New Life Program and his life was forever changed.

“Jay Earl believed in me, and he gave me a chance when he had no reason to think I could clean up my life up,” Michael recalls.

Michael impressed his supervisors with his work ethic and positive attitude and earned four promotions in less than a year. Today, he’s an assistant manager at a Goodwill store and a graduate of the New Life Program.

Watch Michael’s story here!

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I am grateful to work at Denver Rescue Mission and hear these stories first-hand, and the best part of it all, is that we all can relate to Michael’s story of urgency and determination. We all experience the “white flag” moment that finally releases the crippling habits that bring us down.

The New Life Program is dependent on the men, who are seeking change, that want to fight for their lives. It’s a fight to freedom from negative decisions, addictions, abuse…

When you partner with organizations like the Denver VOICE or the Mission, you’re helping, encouraging and supporting men and women who are fighting for their lives! 

Local Homeless-Related News: Denver on Track to End Homelessness

100,000 Homes Campaign reports Denver’s Road Home on track to end chronic and vulnerable homelessness

WASHINGTON, DC— The 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national initiative of Community Solutions, announced that Denver’s Road Home is one of just 15 communities in the country that is measurably on track to end chronic and vulnerable homelessness.

A community must consistently move 2.5 percent of its chronic and medically vulnerable homeless neighbors into permanent housing each month to be considered on track to addressing this need. Over the past four months, Denver’s Road Home in partnership with the Denver Street Outreach Collaborative (DSOC) and multiple service providers has connected an average of 10 chronic or vulnerable people, or 3 percent, a month to housing.  Since  2005, the inception of Denver’s Road Home, the DSOC has housed a total of 1,992 people; 438 of those individuals have been housed over the past 2 ½ years, since forming a partnership with the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

The DSOC identifies a chronic or vulnerable homeless person for housing by using the Vulnerability Index, a tool for identifying and prioritizing the street homeless population for housing, according to the fragility of their health and the length of time on the streets. 

Exceeding the 2.5 percent mark is a difficult and noteworthy accomplishment that proves that Denver is not just talking about ending homelessness, but actually doing it, [according to Denver's Road Home]. Chronic and vulnerable homeless people are often the most difficult to house as well as the most at risk for dying on the streets. Their homelessness also costs public systems far more than the straightforward cost of permanent supportive housing.

Denver’s Road Home and its partners are helping to end chronic and vulnerable homelessness by finding housing for those who currently meet the definition of chronic and/or vulnerable homelessness, as well as those who are projected to enter the ranks of chronic and vulnerable homelessness through 2015.

Through its participation in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Denver’s Road Home is teaching and learning from the best performing communities in the country so that each community can all end homelessness together. All participating communities work to identify each of their homeless neighbors by name and prioritize the most chronic and vulnerable among them for rapid, permanent housing.

“Housing at least 2.5 percent of your chronic and vulnerable homeless neighbors every month is the difference between talking about ending homelessness and actually doing it. The communities hitting this mark are some of the best in the country, and we are relying on their leadership and expertise to help more communities get on track to end homelessness,” said Becky Kanis, Director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign. 

 

The national list of communities on track to end chronic/vulnerable homelessness includes:

  • Arlington County, VA
  • Bellflower, CA
  • Bergen County, NJ
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Denver, CO
  • North Hollywood/Sun Valley, CA
  • Omaha, NE
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Richmond, VA
  • Shreveport/Bossier, LA
  • Silverlake, CA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Whittier, CA

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About 100,000 Homes Campaign

The 100,000 Campaign, a national initiative of Community Solutions, is a movement of over 140 communities working together to find permanent housing for 100,000 chronic and vulnerable homeless individuals and families by July of 2014. To date, participating communities have housed over 19,000 people nationwide. Learn more at www.100khomes.org!

 

About Denver’s Road Home

Denver’s Road Home is a collaborative effort to end homelessness throughout Denver that began in 2005.  To learn more, visitwww.DenversRoadHome.org.

Local Homeless-Related News: Rescue Mission food prep cause of Poisoning

On Sunday, more than 60 people were hospitalized for food poisoning after eating dinner at the Denver Rescue Mission. The incident is currently under investigation. (Denver Post article linked)

Here's an official statement from Brad Meuli, President/CEO, Denver Rescue Mission:

While waiting for official results from public health officials, Denver Rescue Mission conducted an internal investigation into the incident that sent 60 people to the hospital Sunday, July 22.      

We determined that our Lawrence Street Shelter did not follow our established procedures for handling pre-prepared food donations on Sunday, July 22, which it often receives.

We are working closely with officials at Environmental Health and Denver Public Health regarding Sunday’s incident. We are taking this matter very seriously by thoroughly examining internal procedures for food safety.

Annually at Denver Rescue Mission, we provide over 600,000 meals and are confident this is an isolated incident. Our number one concern is for the poor and needy we serve every day. We understand that all of the people who were hospitalized have been treated and released, and many returned to stay at the Mission. I am unaware of something like this ever happening at Denver Rescue Mission, and we will make every effort to limit the possibility of this ever happening again.

With the exception of pre-prepared food, we are operating all of our facilities as normal, including the distribution of food to our partner agencies and accepting food donations from our generous community. Pre-prepared food will not be served at the shelter until health officials complete the investigation.

Denver Rescue Mission has been serving the community for over 120 years. The Mission will continue providing critical meals, shelter, clothing, and medical care to those in need, helping people to change their lives moving from poverty to self-sufficiency.