One of the best things that has happened to Denver Rescue Mission because of the pandemic has been the implementation of 24 hours a day, seven days a week sheltering (or 24/7 sheltering). I say this because we have been given more of an opportunity to speak into men’s lives than ever before. It is no surprise to any of us that when we are rested and feel secure, we are able to make the best decisions for ourselves. I know when I am very tired and stressed, it is often difficult to see things clearly. This is also true for the men we serve.
Because we have moved to 24/7 sheltering at our 48th Avenue Center with 453 beds, we are helping more men resolve out of homelessness. This newsletter includes some thoughts from a couple of our staff who work with men every day, talking about the benefits of 24/7 sheltering.
To say that this has been hard to implement would be a gross understatement. We have had to go from one shift at night to three shifts daily and have added nearly 100 staff and plan on adding 40 more, as we work to bring the right people on our team. The positions we are hiring for—whether emergency services coordinators (front-line staff), custodians, peer navigators, guest service coordinators, case managers, or chefs—not only require people with big hearts for loving God and others, but with an ability and desire to develop relationships with the people we serve.
We are trying to “love up” on the people who come to us for help, and to do that, we have to be relational, earning the right to be heard. When our staff develops a relationship with someone and that person decides that they want to change, when they get a little hope in their eyes, it is like nothing else in this world. Sometimes people experience homelessness just a short while and they need a short stay to resolve their homelessness. But sometimes they are like David in this month’s newsletter, who has been fighting this fight for 20 years.
However long someone has been experiencing homelessness and despair, we are here for them with our offer of hope through Jesus. Thank you for walking alongside us with your financial, prayer and volunteer support. We continue to be here for all who need us.
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 part of June’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re telling David’s story of the Mission being More than a Roof.