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119 Years of Service

www.DenverRescueMission.org

May 2011

The Mission’s STAR Transitional Housing Program

The

Choice for

Change

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Proverbs 4:25-26 (NIV)


Every nine seconds, a woman in the United States is battered by her husband, boyfriend or live-in partner. http://www.womenindistress.org/press_release_26_524033909.pdf

Each year, the Mission helps countless

women who are part of this frightening statistic. They come to us shattered and bearing the scars of domestic abuse— low self-esteem, fear and hopelessness. Please join us as we help these women overcome their violent pasts and live abundant and abuse-free lives.


The

Choice for

Change

Sharon’s Story

was going to change,” Sharon says with remorse. “It was like a nightmare because I finally thought we were in a stable place, and then Social Services came.”

A ugust 17, 2010, seemed like the perfect day for Sharon to

start a new life. She and her four children had just moved into The Crossing after years of unrest, and were looking forward to settling in and starting their journey through the Mission’s STAR Transitional Housing Program. But just hours into their stay, everything changed. In a whirlwind of tears, Sharon’s children were suddenly taken by Social Services, leaving her in hysterics in The Crossing’s lobby.

Haunted by the images of her children’s tear-stained faces, Sharon realized she faced a very real choice— get back on track or risk losing her family forever. For Sharon, “on track” meant overcoming her addiction to marijuana and cutting ties with her abusive boyfriend.

“When you come into this program, they tell you it’s all about choices; you make the choice whether you want to change or not,” she recalls. “My kids went through so much seeing me getting beat, and I knew if I wanted them to grow up with a good spirit about them, there were some things I had to stop.” Within 30 days, Sharon was clean, and beginning to see and feel the fruition of her healthy decisions. Financial classes helped her establish a bank account, something The culprit behind the heartbreaking she never had, while a Healthy scene? Sharon’s continuing Relationships class brought clarity relationship with the father of her as to why she kept returning to a two daughters, a convicted felon damaging relationship. Sharon is confident her new lifestyle and violent abuser, whom she and will instill positive changes in her her children lived with just prior to “The classes and structure here children, especially son Gerald, entering the program. make you want to have something, 12. “Gerald has been through a lot even everyday simple things like witnessing [my abuse]; I can see the “I knew I should’ve gotten my a driver’s license and savings pain in his face,” Sharon says. “I kids out of that situation sooner account,” Sharon remarks. “The want him to see that that’s not what than I did, but I kept thinking he longer I was here, the more I a relationship should be.”


Sharon and her family bonded over dinner at The Crossing several times a week. She says her children enjoyed the outreach’s familyfriendly environment, and the group would often head outside to the playground and basketball court after meals.

realized I used to tell myself lies that the things I was doing weren’t affecting my kids.” With the help of case managers who kept her accountable, Sharon found one good choice led to another, and then another. Soon, she found her way back to the faith she abandoned many years earlier, and began attending a local church every Sunday. Social Services also noted the positive changes in Sharon, and over a period of months, began allowing her to have unsupervised visits with her children. “I lost my faith when I started doing dumb things, but I found my way back here,” Sharon says with a smile. “My kids are so proud of me; I still find myself apologizing a lot, but I really feel like I totally grew up here.” After seven months of succeeding in the program, Sharon reached the pinnacle of her transformation when she regained full custody of her four children. With her now ex-boyfriend in jail, she is currently looking for permanent housing and “get[s] on [her] knees every day and thank[s] God” for the opportunity to be part of such a life-changing program. “I don’t know what I would’ve done if The Crossing wasn’t here,” Sharon says graciously. “Being here forms a spirit in you that I’m not going to lose again; a spirit of being free, making your own choices and living with them, and not being afraid. I feel like I can do anything now!” Go to http://on.fb.me/b3v4bf to post a note of encouragement for Sharon and her family on the Mission's Facebook fan page.

Accountability at The Crossing In the STAR Transitional Housing Program, accountability is vital to every participant’s success. Here are just some of the ways residents help shape their role in achieving lasting change: • Participants must be drug- and alcohol-free and must submit to testing. • Participants pay program fees, including low income-based rent and utilities, or face dismissal from the program. • Participants are accountable to save specific percentages of income in each of the three steps of the program. • Participants must attend a minimum of one case management meeting per month. • Participants must attend at least three Life Skills Workshops, including ”Money Matters.”


From the CEO Dear Friends, Twelve years ago, on a day I will never forget (April Fools’ Day), I came to work at the Denver Rescue Mission. After 17 years in banking, I started a new career as a homeless shelter provider. Many people have said that I gave up a lot. The funny thing is, I do not feel like I gave up anything, or that I have been making any kind of sacrifice. Rather, I believe God has called me, has really placed me at the Mission, and is allowing me to be a part of seeing lives changed for eternity. I find this remarkable, and I am continually blessed by these experiences.

Hit aa Hit

Home Run Against Against Hunger!

Lately, I have been thinking about how much the folks in our New Life Program have to sacrifice, what they have to do to overcome addictions, what they have to give up in order for their lives to be changed. Our program is not an easy one, and it takes from 13 to 27 months before someone can graduate. The men and women who do graduate from our program are a great inspiration to me, so I decided I wanted to do something for them. Something that would be a real sacrifice for me, that would push me, that would be bigger and more important than me, that would challenge me to give my very best. After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to ride my bicycle across Kansas, 475 miles, in the Biking Across Kansas (BAK) ride. (I know, it sounds like a long way to me too, and I am not getting any younger!) I will be joining at least 900 other people on the BAK, but unlike many of them, I do not want to do this just for recreation. I would like to use this endurance ride through the heart of our country, through the wheat fields of the state I was born in, to raise money for the Denver Rescue Mission. Would you consider teaming with me with a financial contribution as I embrace this challenge? I will do the pedaling, and you can join me in the work of reaching the poor and needy and continuing to see lives changed in the name of Christ. My goal is to raise $19,200—the cost of serving 10,000 meals at the Mission. Any size contribution would be appreciated. You can go to www.DenverRescueMission. org/bike to make your gift today and throughout the ride.

Join the Colorado Rockies, King Soopers and the Denver Rescue Mission for the “Hit a Home Run Against Hunger” campaign. Please bring non-perishable canned food items to the Rockies vs. Dodgers game on Thursday, June 9th to help feed the poor and hungry in our community.

The ride is from June 3rd–June 11th, and you can follow my daily progress by going to the links that will be provided on the Mission’s homepage. As I ride from Colorado to Missouri, I will be thinking not only of how much my legs and caboose hurt, but also of you and your support as I complete each mile! Let’s keep working to end homelessness one person at a time. Thank you in advance for joining me in this great challenge!

You can also make a monetary donation when you check out at any King Soopers store in the Denver Metro Area from June 1st through June 30th.

God bless,

For more information, please call Lisette at 303.313.2414, or email her at lwilliams@denrescue.org.

Brad Meuli P.S. The 25% Colorado Enterprise Zone Tax Credit is available for gifts of $1000 or more.

Thank you for helping the Mission “Hit a Home Run Against Hunger!”


Statistics

New Website Check out our new website, where you can see your support at work! Read stories of changed lives, watch mission videos, sign up for e-newsletters, login to view your donation history, sign up to volunteer, and even find ways to get help for people in need.

How You Help

March

YTD 128,478 45,784 21,484 262 284 38,524 72 449 920 193 552

Meals served 43,780 Beds 15,709 Chapel attendance 7,314 Food boxes distributed 82 Furniture (households) 110 Clothing (lbs.) 7,119 Chiropractic 33 Dental 162 Medical 341 Optical

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, youth camp and maze.

Where in Kansas is Brad Meuli? Help support Mission President and CEO Brad Meuli as he participates in the Bike Across Kansas ride June 3rd– June11th. His goal throughout the 475 mile ride is to raise $19,200—the cost of serving 10,000 meals at the Mission. To track Brad’s progress and make a contribution, please visit www.DenverRescueMission.org/bike now and throughout the race!

Community Support

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

Non-Profit of the Match! Show your support for the Mission and cheer on the Colorado Rapids Sunday, July 3rd, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park! Tickets for the 7 p.m. game and Colorado’s largest fireworks show afterward are available for $25, exclusively for Mission supporters. Five dollars from every ticket sold helps end hunger and homelessness in our community! To purchase tickets, please visit www.pepsicenter.com/groups/ rapids/DenverRescueMission.

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 Johnson • Writer: Nicole Vaiana

P.O. Box 5164 • Denver, CO 80217 • 303.297.1815 www.DenverRescueMission.org

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www.twitter.com/DenverRescue


Changing Lives Newsletter May 2011