We have been in a battle for the last several months, but we have not been alone. We have had daily calls with nonprofit shelter providers, the Department of Housing Stability (HOST), the Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), Denver City Council, Denver Police Department, and many others, to figure out next steps. After a long process, Denver Rescue Mission relocated its shelter services to a 24/7 shelter operation for men with 765 beds at the National Western Complex.
We are thrilled to have this! Complete with medical screenings by the Stout Street Health Center, this facility has allowed us to socially distance our guests and identify folks who may be infected with the novel coronavirus. After many weeks, we now have masks so that we can try and protect each other as we interact. This supplemental shelter took a lot of work and has truly been a collaborative effort.
I continue to be impressed with the way our city has pulled together, knowing that our actions could mean the difference between life and death for some of Denver’s most vulnerable. I am so grateful for our staff, who have been flexible in the face of one of the greatest crises our nation has ever experienced. While most of the world was following stay-at-home orders, we have had to willingly run into the fire for the people God loves and cares for.
And our volunteers have continued to come! We are an essential service, and our volunteers are too. I continue to be moved by their desire to join us in this fight.
Most importantly, we are never alone in this battle because the God of the universe is right here with us. At the Mission, we have T-shirts that say, “Hope Starts Here,” and now, more than ever, we are living this out. We have had the opportunity to show the love of Jesus by standing in harm’s way, compassionately serving our guests and letting them know that they are loved.
I do so love this job! It goes without saying that it has been really hard lately, and we have not had all the answers, but we know God is in control. He has been, still is and will always be in control. He is our hope.
Your partnership with us in this difficult time is especially appreciated and allows the light of Jesus to shine bright. We are so grateful for you!
Brad Meuli has been President/CEO at the Mission since 2001. Brad joined the Mission after a 17-year career in banking. Previous to his staff position he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Read his full bio.
This post is a part of June’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month’s edition, Better Together, features many of the heroes on the front line of this pandemic.