Follow the Shaw’s journey to a new life at the Mission—a journey you make possible.
Today, we want to introduce you to a family you are helping—the Shaws. John and Rachel Shaw came to Denver Rescue Mission with their daughter Lindsey after John’s addiction forced the family into homelessness.
They also needed something affordable for themselves and Lindsey. They desperately need help for Joseph’s alcoholism and their relationship after years of growing apart and living from place to place.
“I ran my own business but gave the other part of my life to alcohol. That finally caught up and eventually, I couldn’t work anymore; John says. We stayed in motels and moved each month for a long time, not being able to pay rent. We had nowhere to go.”
Thankfully, the family finally came to The Crossing, our largest location, where your monthly support not only enables us to transform the lives of men facing addiction in our New Life Program, but also helps provide 100 rooms for women, children, and families like the Shaws through our STAR Transitional Program.
We recently shared how the Shaws first came to The Crossing, after John’s struggle with alcoholism forced the family to lose their home. By the time they came through our doors, they simply had nowhere to go.
Thanks to the monthly support of friends like you, the Shaws have received the shelter they needed to regroup—the first step to restoring John’s life and getting themselves on a path to self-sufficiency. John and Rachel are acclimating to the STAR Transitional Program. They are determined to stay on the path your monthly support has put them on. Already, the family feels more stable, and it can be seen in the face of their daughter, Lyndsey.
The Shaws know that restoring their lives will be a process and are so grateful for friends like you who are there for them. “If it wasn’t for The Crossing, we wouldn’t be in this process,” John says.
After moving into The Crossing several months ago, John and Rachel were immediately assigned case managers they could talk to about the resources they need to get their lives back on track. Through counseling and meetings, both Rachel and John have realized that a lot of the problems they faced stemmed from their childhoods. Rachel had an alcoholic mother who left when she was six. John didn’t get along with his stepfather and he left his home at the age of 14.
“The Crossing helped with identifying more personal issues than just my alcoholism,” John says.
The Shaws are learning to work through the past so that they can soon provide a loving home for their daughter Lindsey. “Being at The Crossing helped me recognize the fact that something needed to be done. I’ve been depressed my entire life—I’ve started to work on that,” Rachel says.
In the STAR Transitional Program, families and individuals are empowered to save money and become self-sufficient when they graduate, and it’s all thanks to supporters like you.
After months in the STAR Transitional Program, John and Rachel have been rebuilding their relationship with each other so that they can be the parents they need to be.
Their case manager has given them guidelines for obtaining self-sufficiency when they leave The Crossing, and through Christian counseling they are realizing that without God, true change isn’t possible.
“I trust more in God now,” Rachel says. It’s in His hands, not ours.”
Youth development programs are a big part of our STAR Transitional Program, as many of the families staying at The Crossing are there with children. When John and Rachel first arrived with their daughter, Lindsey, she was shy and withdrawn.
But every day she is able to play, learn and take part of youth development programs here in our Denver Broncos Youth Center—our youth education center that provides positive guidance and education for young children and teenagers whose parents are participating in the STAR Transitional Program.
Caring volunteers come into the center every day to spend quality time with the children and help ensure that while their parents are getting guidance and support at the Mission, their children are too.
“Before we lived there, I was shy and to myself. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. I felt ashamed. But now I’m willing to convey my experience. It’s a part of my life, so why change it?” says Lindsey.
She sees a similar change in her parents: “They don’t fight like they used to.”
John and Rachel graduated from the STAR Transitional Program and now have their own apartment with their daughter, Lindsey. They are growing closer as a family unit all the time. John is trying to get his business back, doing interior painting and muraling. “It’s going to be a family business this time,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to the day that I can hand Rachel keys to a house. When we got married, I promised her I would buy her a house, and I would always be there for her. I haven’t given up on my promises,” he says.
Lindsey is now playing competitive softball with other young people her age, and her games double as family time with her parents and other family members gathering on the sidelines to cheer her on. “Now we’re always together, as a family. We got closer as we were falling apart,” she says.
The Shaw family is enjoying life as a true unit for the first time in many years. “It’s been a nice re-do. Everybody learned what it meant to be a family.”
Thank you for changing lives like theirs as part of Pathways of Hope.
* Names and image have been changed for privacy purposes.