Abari beams positivity as he reflects on the events of his life. He has always had an optimistic outlook—a mindset that stems from his mother and the way he was raised.

Abari was born in Chicago. He lived in Sioux Falls, Iowa for a few years and then spent the rest of his childhood in Evans, Colorado.

When Abari was a child, his parents separated, but his mother always reminded him that he was loved and that he could accomplish anything in life. She also taught him the importance of treating people with kindness and giving back to the community.

“I grew up meeting a lot of different people of different cultures,” Abari said. “My mother brought us up to not base our outlook and opinions on race or how people looked, but to judge them by their works, how they act and how they treat you.”

His mother worked in the medical field, which taught Abari the importance of helping people. When Abari moved to Denver, he wanted to find a way to volunteer on his days off from his job at a marketing research company and found Denver Rescue Mission as an opportunity to get involved. Abari enjoyed volunteering at the Mission and wanted to simply give back to others.

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting a lot of the staff here and seeing that they’re enjoying helping people,” he said. “It’s really inspiring to me.”

Abari lost his job and his home abruptly…

Abari ended up losing both his job and his home abruptly. He found himself staying in hotel rooms until he found a place in Aurora, which was a completely different experience for him.

“It wasn’t horrible, but Colfax is only like six blocks south of that, and every now and then you hear gunshots and a lot of activity,” described Abari, “so I ended up just leaving there, and that’s when I started coming here [to DRM].”

Now, Abari is working on prioritizing his goals and plans for the future.

Music is a passion that has always been a part of Abari’s life. Growing up, he played the standup acoustic bass as well as several other instruments. He excelled at an early age and joined the Greeley Chamber Orchestra as a teenager and played with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

“At one point, I think I was probably in six or seven different groups,” he said. “I was going around the state, sometimes outside of [the] state. Everything I was doing was pretty much just music based, and it got so overwhelming to where I just started cancelling everything. But now that I’m older, I’m debating whether or not I want to venture off into that again, but with a different perspective. It still is something that’s a part of me and something that I love.”

Abari also loves the arts, including music, drawing, sculpting, and film. But one of his main passions is helping people. His innate nature to give back to others, along with his experience volunteering at the Mission, has inspired him to consider applying to become a Peer Navigator, a Mission staff member who has personally experienced homelessness, so that he can encourage others to find hope and pursue their dreams.

“With my experience and what I’ve learned, I want to try to help somebody achieve, pursue or develop their aspirations,” he said.

Abari reflects on why he chooses to give back to his community and why he remains positive for whatever the future has in store for him. It all goes back to his faith.

“With my experience and what I’ve learned, I want to try to help somebody achieve, pursue or develop their aspirations,” he said.

Having a father with an Israeli Hebrew background and a Christian mother, Abari grew up in the church learning about Jesus. Although he’s had life struggles that have tested his faith, he has always been a strong believer.

“I used to be involved in the drug scene, but I finally got that out of my life 20 years ago,” he said. “But the spiritual, religious background was always part of my life. That’s one of the things that carried me on.”

Just like Jesus showed kindness to the poor and the broken, Abari is doing his best to extend that same kindness to those around him. He chooses to trust God’s plan for his life, even when it can be hard to understand the path God is leading him on.

“I consider the Most High and the sacrifices that He took for us and mankind,” Abari said. “The least I could do is try to live like [Jesus]. I think that all things happen for a reason, and my Creator has deemed it necessary for me to be here, so I’m just trying to follow. I ask Him to guide me and open my eyes to understand what He’s trying to show me.”

Written by: Linneya Gardner, Content and Photography Intern and Jacob Cain, former Denver Rescue Mission Assistant Food Services Manager