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119 Years of Service

August 2011

Joey’s Story

of Transformation at Harvest Farm

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (The Message)

“If you have people in your life who support you, regardless of what you’ve done wrong, you can turn things around....

...Harvest Farm is the place that put those people in my life.”


Proud of the Person

I felt like I was a little boy all over again,”

Joey says of the agony he felt when he discovered his mother Dawn had died in her sleep. The rock of a family brought to its knees by tragedy, she had not only witnessed the permanent disability of her oldest son following a horrific accident, but watched in anguish as Joey sank deeper into a life of crime. For 13 years, it was

Dawn who saw Joey through the perils of gang life, never once forsaking him, and now she was gone.

“When my mom died, everything I’d done—being incarcerated, being shot, everything I put her through, all came over me ten fold,” Joey recalls. “But

in her passing away, I realized I had to grow up.”

Less than a month after his mother’s death, Joey got his chance to “grow up” when he arrived at Harvest Farm. Just two weeks before she died, Dawn had bailed Joey out of jail in return for his promise to enter the Mission’s New Life Program. Though determined to fulfill his mother’s last wish, Joey, known as “Side Show” by fellow gang members, faced an uphill battle transitioning from a lawless lifestyle to one of a mature adult.

“I’m 26, and I’ve spent 8 years of my life in jail; I robbed myself out of learning the most basic of life skills,” the Phase III Farm resident explains. “I was 14 ½

years old when I went to juvenile prison, and my life stopped there. When I got to the Farm, I felt like I was picking up where I left off at fourteen.” Forever thankful to “Momma Dawn,” Joey says he wants to dedicate his story to his late mother and “guardian angel.” “I’m just amazed at how my mom always stood by me,” Joey reflects.

“It’s a very important lesson to show my kids (Ashton, now 7, and Joey, now 4)—yes, dad made mistakes, but dad recovered and rebounded.”

Now nine months into his stay at the Farm, the father of two young sons has made remarkable strides. For the first time in his life, Joey confronted the grief that compelled him to join a gang after his brother’s accident, as well the guilt that consumed him following his mother’s passing. With help from Chaplain Art Herrera, Joey began to grow in his faith, while also learning the problem-solving and communication skills his former lifestyle made impossible for him to develop.

I’m Becoming

Joey s Story

“I’ve come out of [Chaplain] Herrera’s office in tears many times, but in essence it’s making me the man I want to be,” Joey says. “So many basic things

have been added to my tool belt since I’ve been here; I feel like I can build anything now.” While Joey continued to make significant mental and emotional breakthroughs, he had yet to face one of the biggest obstacles on his road to responsible adulthood— finding employment. Though

While in work therapy, Joey formed a close friendship with Fleet Supervisor Rob Wolf. “He’s an amazing mentor . . . , and he respects you for who you are,” Joey says earnestly.

Thank you for helping men like Joey move past the regret and turmoil of past mistakes, and seek recovery and renewal through the New Life Program.

he was working toward a degree in welding and thrived in the Farm’s work therapy program, Joey shuddered at the thought of speaking, yet alone interviewing, with a potential employer. Thankfully, in what he deems a “blessing from God,” Joey secured a position as a mechanic for a local car repair shop the first day of his job search. “It’s ironic because everyone in the gang used to say I was fearless, but having to get a job scared me more than anything in my life,” Joey admits. “This job is

“Work therapy definitely helped prepare me for my job; now I have these feelings of success and accomplishment that I’ve never had before.”

to-five like everyone else; it’s a great starting point.” With six months to go before graduating from the program and reuniting with his children, Joey is steadily becoming the son, the father, the man his late mother would be proud of. “I wish

more than anything I could give my mom a hug and say, ‘Look at me now,’” Joey, who voluntarily works to bring gang members to Christ, says. “I crawled onto the Farm like a baby, and I’m going to leave walking like a man.

teaching me how to be a man and work nine-

To post a note of encouragement for Joey on the Mission̕ s Facebook fan page, visit

From the CEO Dear Friends, Recently, while reading David Platt’s new book, Radical, I was reminded of just how blessed I am. Platt writes: If we make only ten thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 84 percent of the world, and if we make fifty thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 99 percent of the world. Meanwhile, more than a billion people live in desperate poverty, lacking food, water, clothing, and shelter. Does this seem as shocking to you as it does to me, that someone with a $10,000 annual income would be wealthier than 84 percent of the world? What a terrific reminder of just how blessed the majority of us are who have jobs, homes, food, clean water, and clothing to wear. And, with over one billion people lacking these basic necessities, it is also a graphic reminder of just how important our work is at the Denver Rescue Mission. Platt continues by asking: So how can we begin to fight the battle against materialism in an effort to spend our lives —and our money —on behalf of that which is most important to the heart of God? One way is to continue partnering with us in God’s work here at the Mission, where we work every day to help people become productive, self-sufficient citizens, free from the chains of poverty. It is not an easy task, but we can fight poverty right in our own backyard, right in our community, inside the Denver Rescue Mission, where people just like us are hurting and have come for help. I am convinced that we who are blessed can begin to change the world one person at a time, right now. God bless,

Brad Meuli

I Run Colorado 5k Join Denver Rescue Mission and Colorado Tees for the I Run Colorado 5K on Sunday, August 14th and help the needy in our community! The race will begin at 9 a.m. at Washington Park, with a portion of all registration fees being donated to the Mission. Early registration is $30; day of, $35. Prizes will also be awarded to top runners, and all participants will receive an exclusive T-shirt and swag bag. For more information or to register for the race, please visit

Second Annual Harvest Farm Fall Festival 5k On Saturday, September 10th, put your running shoes on and help Denver Rescue Mission kick off our Ninth Annual Fall Festival by running in the Harvest Farm Fall Festival 5K! Participants will run through our popular corn maze, as well as wind across scenic rural countryside on our 200-acre working farm. Your participation in this year’s race will help men in our New Life program make positive and lasting life changes. To register, please visit For more information, please contact Richy at 970.568.9803 or

Following the Harvest Farm 5K Run/Walk on September 10th, the Ninth Annual Harvest Farm Fall Festival and Corn Maze will be open to the public! From September 10th through October 30th, visitors of all ages can participate in family-friendly attractions including a 10-acre corn maze, pumpkin smash, petting zoo, hay rides, concessions, and much more! The festival is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Fall Festival Prices

Adult (13 and up): $15.00 Child (4-12): $10.00 Age 3 and under: Free Seniors (60+): $10.00


September 10th through October 30th


Mission Events Denver Rescue Mission Golf Tournament

Broadlands Golf Course Friday, September 9th 7:30 a.m. Shotgun Start Come out and hit a hole-in-one for the hungry and homeless! The cost is only $90 per person and includes registration, cart and a delicious lunch. For more information, please call Lisette @ 303.313.2414.

Women Who’ve Changed the Heart of the City Tea

The Brown Palace Friday, September 16th 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Honorees: Janet Elway, Betty Lehman, Frances Owens, Emily Howell Warner. To purchase tickets, please visit, and enter the event code HeartofCity. For more information on table and corporate sponsorships, please call May @ 303.313.2462.

Evening of Exploration

The Wildlife Experience Featuring guest speaker Mike Yankoski, author of Under the Overpass Thursday, October 13th 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Silent Auction & Reception 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Dinner, Program & Speaker To purchase tickets, please visit, and enter the event code Exploration2011. For more information on table and corporate sponsorships, please call May @ 303.313.2462.

Community Support Thanks For Your Support!

Special thanks to King Soopers and the Colorado Rockies for collecting food and cash donations for our “Hit a Home Run Against Hunger” campaign. We so appreciate your generosity!

What An Adventure!

A huge thank you to Wilderness Aware Rafting Company of Buena Vista, Colorado, for generously providing two half-days of whitewater rafting in June for New Life Program participants. Over the past 10 years, they’ve allowed nearly 800 participants to experience an unforgettable water and mountain adventure!

Summer of Hope Hygiene Drive

From August 1st - 21st, Mix 100, Kool 105 and 92.5 The Wolf are partnering with Walgreens and Denver Rescue Mission to collect hygiene items for the homeless! Please visit any Metro Denver Walgreens store and help those in need by filling up Hope Tote bins! Items needed include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, and diapers. Please visit for more information on how you can help.

How You Help

June 42,167 Meals served 17,941 Beds 6,616 Chapel attendance 74 Food boxes distributed 81 Furniture (households) 23,728 Clothing (lbs.) 40 Chiropractic 204 Dental 619 Medical 160 Optical

YTD 257,154 92,559 43,238 560 515 112,370 167 937 2,402 1,137

Our Outreaches Lawrence Street Shelter Emergency care: meals, overnight shelter, free health care, food box and clothing distribution. Champa House Residential facility offering long-term help toward self-sufficiency to single mothers with dependent children. Harvest Farm Long-term New Life rehabilitation program, farming and ranching operation, food and clothing distribution, and Fall Festival. The Crossing Long-term New Life rehabilitation program; transitional housing for program graduates and homeless families; temporary housing for interns and visitors. Ministry Outreach Center Administrative and warehouse facilities; food, clothing, and household goods distribution. Family Services Transitional housing; assistance for permanent housing; mentoring for homeless working families, seniors and refugee families. Global Ministry Outreach Consultation, resources and support to city/rescue missions around the world.

Changing Lives is the monthly news publication of Denver Rescue Mission

Publications Manager: Christine Gallamore • Designer: Kirstin Hamrick • Writer: Nicole Vaiana

P.O. Box 5164 • Denver, CO 80217 • 303.297.1815

Changing Lives Newsletter August 2011  
Changing Lives Newsletter August 2011  

Changing Lives Newsletter