Derricsa wholeheartedly believes in the power of prayer. It’s the foundation of her parenting as a single mother of four. It’s how she wraps up every day with her children during bedtime. It’s the way she connects with her mentors, whom she met through Denver Rescue Mission’s Family Rescue Ministry program. For Derricsa, prayer is the reason she and her children have a safe place to call home.
One of Derricsa’s favorite verses, which was an encouragement during her time of need, is Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
From August to November of 2020, Derricsa and her four children, Serenity, 10, Jedidiah, 9, Isyss, 5, and D’Cairo, 2, were homeless and temporarily staying at her father’s place in Colorado Springs.
Prior to that, they were staying at an apartment that felt like anything but a home. With constant bed bugs, a landlord who ignored her maintenance requests, and an unsafe neighborhood that negatively influenced her children, Derricsa knew she needed to get out of there.
“I wanted better for my kids,” she said. “I wanted to show them what it means to be stable.”
With the weight of providing for four children without support from their father, Derricsa tried to come up with a solution. She had received a Section 8 housing voucher, which would cover a portion of her rent, and she was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance due to an injury. But she didn’t have enough money for the deposit required to secure an apartment. “I was sitting there at my dad’s, just wondering, are things going to be like this forever?”
One simple call to 211 connected her to the Mission, which is how she found out about Family Rescue Ministry (FRM), a program that helps families secure stable housing by providing funding toward a security deposit and first month’s rent payment. She applied immediately.
“They called and told me they accepted me in to the program,” she said. “They gave me a check, and I was able to give it to the landlord. It felt so good. That’s why I’m saying, prayer works.”
When she walked into her three-bedroom home in Aurora in November of 2020, it felt like night and day from her previous apartment. Derricsa was blessed to see her children’s reactions. “They were ecstatic,” she said.
Ten-year-old Serenity’s personality is just like her name suggests: serene, peaceful and lovable. Her little sister, Isyss, is a spunky, outspoken five-year-old. They love their new neighborhood in Aurora, where they ride their bikes around with friends and live walking distance from their new schools.
“I truly just want to say thank you,” said their mother, Derricsa. “If it weren’t for the donors, me and my kids wouldn’t have a place.”
FRM also connects families with mentors to provide the relational support needed to help them maintain stability. This has made a tremendous impact on Derricsa, who reaches out to her mentors, Mike and Kathy, any time she needs someone to talk to and pray with.
“Ever since the first meeting we had with Derricsa, we’ve always ended our conversations with prayer,” Mike said. “Something that really impresses us is that she truly does trust the Lord and is a model for us as well. She puts God first, and everything else follows.”
Mike and Kathy are the people she confides in about her past, her struggles and her goals. “I never feel judged after those conversations,” Derricsa said. “That’s really who my family is up here—my mentors.”
Derricsa appreciates the Mission’s Ministry Outreach Center (MOC), where she goes once a month to receive clothing, hygiene items, undergarments, and cleaning supplies for her new apartment. She also received donated beds for her children at the MOC. “[For] as many people as there are in the house, I don’t have the funds to always go shop,” she said.
With her basic needs met, she’s been able to prioritize spending one-on-one time with each of her children and is raising them to know and love God. “You never hear her complaining,” Kathy said. “She’s an incredibly strong person—raising four kids on her own. It is encouraging to see her strength in times of adversity and her reliance on God.”
“At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to give up, I still had four kids who wanted a home.”
A former certified nursing assistant, Derricsa’s goal is to go back to school once her youngest child is in preschool and pursue a career as an esthetician, which is one of her passions. “It’s mainly for my kids,” she said, “to show them that you can do something even with a setback.”
When Derricsa looks back on her journey, the one constant in her life has been prayer. “I know my blessings have come from God. I wouldn’t have this place if it weren’t for me praying consistently every day. My faith has grown tremendously.”
Your Support Changes Lives
It’s because of faithful supporters like you that a door opened for Derricsa and her children after months of prayer. Be the answer to the prayers of other families in need.
Become a Mentor for Family Rescue Ministry
Last year, FRM helped 369 individuals experiencing homelessness transition into permanent housing, and 93 percent of families remained in housing one year after completing the program.* Mentors like Mike and Kathy play a key role in families’ ability to maintain stability by helping with budgeting, setting goals and providing relational and spiritual support.