Dear Friends,

I remember when I was sixteen and finally had my driver’s license and could drive alone. I was so excited experiencing this new freedom. Driving home from a school event, someone in a pickup truck was following close behind me. At the next light, he didn’t stop fast enough and totaled my little brown Volkswagen Rabbit. Still today when someone is driving too close behind me, I get nervous and my stomach tenses as a reaction to an experience that impacted me. That incident affected how I see the world.

For the people we serve at Denver Rescue Mission, we know that all of them have experienced levels of trauma because poverty in and of itself is traumatic. We also know that many of our guests have experienced severe levels of trauma caused by physical or emotional harm, loss, discrimination, and more. Our Mission Statement says that we want to meet people at their physical and spiritual points of need, so our goal is to understand that their trauma has impacted how they see the world and meet them there.

As I think about meeting people where they are, there is no better example than Jesus, who demonstrated meeting people where they were and walked beside them. He did not expect the disciples to understand everything, but patiently walked with them and taught them. He was patient, waited for people to ask Him for help and healing and didn’t enter their lives uninvited and tell them what needed to be fixed.

We can apply these principles when working with people who have experienced trauma by seeing them as unique individuals created by God, and asking what has happened in their lives to make them see the world differently than we do. We can take the stance of walking alongside them to help them reach their goals, not dictating what we think their goals should be. We can work to provide a safe space where they can process all these things. Our goal is to show up and see them where they are, walk with them through a difficult time and understand the trauma that has molded them.

As you read through this month’s Changing Lives newsletter, I encourage you to think about the incredible courage and resilience it takes to overcome trauma and pray for our guests as they work to build a life despite these challenges. We are so grateful that we have your partnership in praying for and supporting the people who God has brought to Denver Rescue Mission.


Tracy Brooks

Leadership Team 7

Tracy Brooks

VP of Homelessness Resolution

This post is part of July’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re sharing our approach to trauma-informed care in: A Community of Care.