It is by grace, through faith that for 128 years, Denver Rescue Mission has been able to serve and impact our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. Our goal is to address the ever-changing needs of Denver’s homeless population and guide all individuals and families who come to us for help toward lives of self-sufficiency and fulfillment in Jesus.
We exist to change lives in the name of Christ by meeting people at their physical and spiritual points of need with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens. We do this using Four Core Strategies:
“I am 11 years old and in 6th grade. My favorite thing about living at The Crossing is doing art on Thursdays and going to the Broncos Room. Before I came to live here, bad stuff kept happening. We lived in some type of apartments that were for homeless people, but they kicked us out. We were in the snow, and they left us on the side of the building. The good thing about living here is that I made friends. I get to live a good life. Before, we didn’t have enough money to pay the rent and to get food, and living here now, we got back on our feet. My mom’s making money and we are about to get housing.”
Jaydin, 6th grader living at The Crossing
“I was married, my wife got very sick, and she passed away about a year ago. That came with many medical bills. I got buried financially, and then I got laid off from my job. One night, I found myself with nowhere to go and no money, so I spent the night walking around downtown. I was really scared about it, and they were very kind to me at Lawrence Street Community Center. They’ve put a roof over my head. They’ve given me three meals a day. The most important thing the Mission does is help you have faith when you have none. I’ve been here three weeks, and I can tell you I’m in a much better place. I had a lot of questions about why my wife passed and why it wasn’t me, but being here these last few weeks has really restored my spirituality.”
John, Next Step member
“For 26 years, I was a meth addict. I slept in parks underneath benches and bridges so nobody could see me. At that point, my addiction pretty much took over my life. It was just about using drugs so I didn’t have to feel the pain of what I was going through. Now, in the STAR program, I’m at about a year and a half of sobriety. I’ve established relationships with my children and my mom. I’ve been able to maintain long-term employment and am actually trying to move up into management in my job. I’ve been able to pass on the word of the Lord and how much God has helped me in my life.”
Michelle, STAR Transitional Program participant
“I remember sitting outside of the Lawrence Street Shelter one day thinking about how lost I had become. I realized the path I was on would only lead to death. The building downtown is called ‘Jesus Saves.’ The whole point of the Mission is Jesus Saves. I really feel that I have a much closer relationship with Jesus, and it’s just doing me so well. The New Life Program has been real good. I work at a restaurant downtown. They gave me a raise already. My goal is to be a customer service agent for God—to help people learn about the gospel. I don’t know what that entails, but God knows.”
Steven, New Life Program graduate
Nights of Shelter
Children served through the STAR Transitional Program
Interns Experienced Hands-On Work at the Mission
New Life Program Graduates
Tons of Clothing Distributed
Breaking Stigmas Around Homelessness
There are many common misconceptions about homelessness. By showing the impact your support has made, we can replace those myths with truths, and together, we can continue to make a difference.
want to get a job.
Last year, 155 participants in our New Life Program got a job.
The average salary needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Denver is $48,160.* Our guests are often forced to choose between paying rent or buying food and other basic necessities, which often results in homelessness. Many of the participants in our transitional programs are working, but struggle to find an affordable place to live. For men in our New Life Program, we help them find and secure employment through resume building and mock interviewing.
Homelessness is such a
big challenge that
I can do about it.
126 households were moved into permanent housing through the Mission’s transitional programs in 2019.
Right now, 5,755 people in Denver are experiencing homelessness, but your support is making a difference. Reports show 54% of people experiencing homelessness utilize emergency shelters and 29% have been a part of transitional programs.**
are just enabling
451 of our guests transitioned out of shelter through our services last year.
Our shelter system is designed to empower people to pursue a path off the street. At our Denver shelters, the Lawrence Street Community Center and Fort Collins Rescue Mission, we provide basic resources for survival—meals, beds, showers, laundry, drinking water, and restrooms. All of our emergency services facilities are staffed with employees who foster relationships and offer information about our programs and services like Next Step and Steps to Success, which are designed to help people find permanent housing.
Donors in 2019
Total Volunteer Hours
Georgina is a supporter of the Mission and a long-term volunteer (Change Maker) who serves several times a week in the Lawrence Street Community Center kitchen. She’s often preparing food and busing tables in the dining area. Her favorite part about volunteering is interacting with the guests.
“I love volunteering at the Mission because I know this is a place of much caring, love and hope. I am blown away by the heartfelt, sincere and positive energy of all the staff and program candidates I have met and worked with. There is a very genuine and beautiful blessing in this place. It is a tremendous honor to be part of it.”
Jesse and Terri Sommer are supporters of the Mission who made a financial contribution to Harvest Farm to enable renovations. They feel passionate about the simplicity and peacefulness of the rural environment the Farm offers, and they believe that an urban environment can present challenges and temptations that may be hard for some people to deal with. Hearing the testimonies of some of the men who have gone through the New Life Program at Harvest Farm inspired them to get involved.
“We are firm believers in the healing powers of nature and the therapeutic value of caring for God’s creatures. Touring the Farm and meeting many of the staff really moved us. Their level of commitment and devotion to their jobs and to helping others gives us a lot of hope for humanity.”
Security Central is committed to impacting lives in its community and around the world. In 2016, Security Central started the Million Dollar Impact Initiative—a commitment to give away $1,000,000 over a ten-year period to its Impact Partners, including Denver Rescue Mission. Philanthropy is embedded in the fabric of Security Central. Each year, the company hosts a canned food and cash donation drive to benefit the Mission, and employees frequently serve meals at the Lawrence Street Community Center and The Crossing.
“Serving at the Mission’s facilities is one of our favorite service projects. The Mission makes it so easy for a group like us to serve real people in a real way. It is always a heart-changing event for each team member.”Jordan Jackson, President of Security Central
As the Young Professionals Committee Chair, Dustin works alongside the Mission’s staff to engage a growing group of young professionals who are passionate about helping people in need. Drawing on his experience in the nonprofit world, Dustin’s objective is to equip and empower the team to develop the next generation of volunteers, donors and advocates for the Mission. He also supports the Mission as a member of the Pathways of Hope Monthly Giving Program.
“Since getting involved with the Mission, I’ve learned that people from all walks of life struggle with homelessness, and the needs have only grown more complex. It’s been incredible meeting the men, women, children, and families receiving services at the various Mission locations. Listening to their stories and learning how the Mission staff and volunteers treated them with dignity has encouraged me to support the Mission.”
Denver Rescue Mission is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance recommends giving to organizations who spend at least 65% of their total expenses on program activities. In fiscal year 2018- 2019, 83% of our expenses were in programs.
Download our audited financial statements at DenverRescueMission.org/Financial-Accountability.
The face of Colorado has changed drastically in recent years, and so has our homeless population. To help address their changing needs, Denver Rescue Mission engaged in a strategic planning process, which we are now proud to say we are halfway through. This process has helped our staff make intentional and strategic decisions through 16 key initiatives so we can better serve the people who come to us for us help. Here’s a look at a few.
Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. It’s the fuel that keeps us going here at the Mission. As we begin our 128th year of service, I have realized that it’s by grace, through faith that we have been able to serve our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness and help guide them toward lives of self-sufficiency and fulfillment in Christ.
This year, as part of our three-year strategic plan, we worked on updating best practices for our program participants and prioritized clients’ next steps out of shelter by developing strategies to reach a large group of individuals and help move them toward more stable living environments. (In 2019, 682 of our downtown Denver guests joined one of the Mission’s programs!) We also accomplished renovation projects at several facilities to create more comfortable and safer environments for our program participants and guests. The transition from the streets to the Mission is not always easy, and our goal is to make it as efficient, effective and impactful as possible for individuals and families who come to the Mission for help.
In this report, you will read stories of growth and restoration among the people we serve and see the impact of what we have been able to achieve this year. It’s important to remember that all of this is an incredible reflection of God’s goodness and grace. He has worked through many people who have sacrificed much for “the least of these,” including the time and effort of our volunteers, the hard work of our 211 Mission staff members, the guidance from our trusted Board of Directors, and the generosity of gracious partners like you.
Thank you for praying with us, believing with us and supporting us in 2019. We look forward to another transformative year of Changing Lives in the Name of Christ—by grace, through faith.