Thanks to caring neighbors like you, September and October have been busy months at Springs Rescue Mission! Multiple groups of volunteers have shown us exactly what it means to love bigger, and we’re so thankful. Scroll down to find out more about our new sheltering programs, plus read Jeremiah’s story of hope.
In September, we opened a destination on the road to permanent housing. This new program — known as Mission Inn 2 — has space for 14 men and provides a safe, encouraging environment in which men can overcome homelessness and get their lives back on track. The new program currently houses eight men who have been homeless for as long as 11 years. “It’s really the first chapter of housing,” said Robert Farmer, shelter director. “The intent is for it to be a stable environment — it’s set up more like a community-style housing.” Robert also said that a requirement of the program is for residents to meet their own monthly goals for physical, mental and spiritual health, as well as to work.
We’ve also started another new sheltering program, known as the Advanced Shelter Program. This program is designed to help shelter guests who are working and want to move further toward permanent housing. Guests in the Advanced Shelter have access to a kitchen, are able to leave their belongings at their bunks on a semi-permanent basis and have extended access to laundry and shower facilities. “It’s really designed to be as much like independent living as you can get while still in the shelter,” said Robert Farmer. “It’s a mature group of people who are doing everything they can to get out and live on their own.”
Jason graduated the New Life Program last month. During his graduation ceremony, his friends, mentors and family members recognized him for his optimism, enthusiasm and “contagious positivity.” As his brother said, “Jason is a really great older brother, and he’s kind of like everyone’s brother. He just always has a great attitude — no matter how hard he gets knocked down, he gets back up.” Jason chose Proverbs 12:1 as his graduation verse: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” Congratulations, Jason!
In September, medical students from UCCS and Colorado College held a “foot clinic” for guests at Springs Rescue Mission. Guests were able to get their feet worked on, which alleviated pain and helped the students look for any other underlying medical issues. Thank you to the students and to Peak Vista Community Health Centers for putting on this important event!
More than 70 volunteers converged at Springs Rescue Mission on Oct. 5 to help with landscaping, shelter cleaning and picking up the Mill Street Neighborhood. The effort was part of a city-wide service event called CityServe, which is hosted by Colorado Springs-based nonprofit COSILoveYou.
Thousands participated in the overall event to volunteer and perform acts of service at schools, churches and local nonprofits. “We are so blessed when this community comes together to see lives restored and filled with hope,” said Travis Williams, SRM’s Chief Development Officer. “It brings us so much joy.”
Global humanitarian-relief nonprofit Convoy of Hope, in partnership with the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, came to Springs Rescue Oct. 10 to perform a series of service projects, as well as deliver a truckload of material goods, nonperishable food items and other sundries. More than 40 volunteers helped with interior painting, light construction projects and stuffing care kits for the homeless in Colorado Springs.
Thanks to you, Jeremiah has hope again.
Jeremiah* never let his autism limit him. He was born in Topeka, Kansas and moved to Colorado when he was 13. He worked a variety of jobs — from welding and ranching to roofing and installing smoke detectors. Around 10 years ago, Jeremiah became homeless. Unable to cope with the stress of what his life had become, he turned to marijuana and smoked it regularly.
Jeremiah recently came to Springs Rescue Mission and was one of the first residents of our new shelter program (Mission Inn 2/Genesis House) — ending a decade of homelessness. Today he is thankful: for life, for shelter and for sobriety.
He is currently working with Work Engagement and attending vocational rehabilitation classes through the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. He is currently looking for a church to attend regularly and hopes to find full-time employment as a janitor. He also dreams of living in his own apartment one day.
*name changed to protect privacy