I often think about the life journey that brings people through the door at Denver Rescue Mission. As I sit and talk to people, no two stories are the same. There may be some similar themes—addiction, job loss, death, or divorce—but like all of us, each person that walks through our doors has a unique journey. As I listen to them, I am continually humbled that when they are facing one of the greatest challenges of their lives—homelessness—they reached out to us. I am also continually humbled that God has allowed us to partner with Him to minister to these individuals.

Throughout my career working with individuals experiencing homelessness, my most humbling moments were working with families. One time, as I walked into a facility, I heard a child shout, “Teacher Tracy!” and run towards me. I found myself looking down into the face of a girl who had sat in the Sunday school class I taught the week before. Her mother, herself and her siblings were newly homeless. How did this family, who lives in the middle-class neighborhood where I live and attend the same church I attend, find themselves homeless? My heart ached. This was a story of a single mom who held the same job, had lost her parents at an early age and had an ex-husband who stopped paying child support. She needed a place to reset, save money and find resources.

Just like this single mother, about 50 percent of the individuals who sleep in our shelters and at The Crossing are employed. Each morning they rise early, go to work, come back to our facilities, and do it again the next day, just like me. We give them the opportunity to reset and work through strategies to overcome the challenges that have caused them to lose their housing. Just like their journey to our doors, those strategies look different for each of them. Our case managers, counselors and chaplains help them as they navigate next steps and resources, connect to community and transition back into stable housing.

As I read Psalm 46 it says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” My prayer is that we partner with the Lord to provide a place of refuge for the individuals and families we serve. Thank you for partnering with us to meet these needs.

Tracy Brooks staff portrait

Tracy Brooks

VP of Homelessness Resolution

This post is part of July’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re telling Erin’s story of being homeless and employed.

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