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According to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative** thousands of men and women experiencing homelessness in Denver suffer from some kind of mental illness. Dennis* was one of them.
When Dennis first came to Denver Rescue Mission, he had been chronically homeless for nearly seven years, and he suffered a mental disorder that caused him to hear “voices” in his head for at least 15 years. He felt totally defeated, without any dreams or hope for his future. Unable to hold down a job, his goals in life were to get high and to get on disability—$550 a month. Because that’s all he thought he was worth.
Over the next several weeks and months, we heard more about Dennis’s tragic story. He had suffered horrific abuse as a child. He turned to drugs to help him cope with that trauma. And when the symptoms of his mental disorder began to emerge, his drug addiction worsened.
Dennis believed his life would never change. We tried to convince him that, with treatment and medications, he could have a much brighter future. He could work again, get his own apartment, and live independently. In conversation after conversation, we continued to encourage him, pray with him and support him. He often wanted to give up.
He felt totally defeated, without any dreams or hope for his future.
Slowly, however, Dennis began to see God working in his life, and he started to believe that maybe a new life was really possible after all. Eventually, he started a full-time job. Then, with his job experience, he took another better, paying job after thatr Today, Dennis has been sober for a year and a half. He is now in transitional housing, saving money and proud of how far he’s come-and he now has hope for his future.
Dennis is proud of how far he’s come and he now has hope for his future.
As Denver Rescue Mission’s Director of Residential Programs, I see transformation stories like Dennis’s every day-and those stories have changed my life. Dennis made me stop and ask, how many times have I limited my own self, sabotaged my own dreams? Where have I limited myself and where can I dream bigger dreams?
I hope Dennis’s story encourages donors like you. When you invest in someone like him, you’re truly saving someone’s life. Many of the people you support here would die apart from the support your gift offers, not from hunger or homelessness, but from hopelessness. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I had no hope until I came to Denver Rescue Mission.”
When you invest in someone like Dennis, you‘re truly saving someone’s life.
Thanks to donors like you, thousands of hopeless men and women over the years have received the real help they need to live new lives, set new goals, walk into brand new futures and even change someone else’s life—someone like you and me.
By: Jonathan Soweidy, Director of Residential Programs
*Client’s name and photo have been changed for privacy purposes.
**Source: Metro Denver Homeless Initiative: Point In Time Reports
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