In 2015 — long before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe — Springs Rescue Mission launched a capital campaign to create a “Community of Hope,” an extensive homeless services campus in downtown Colorado Springs.
The campaign has resulted in the completion of several new buildings: new shelter facilities that have increased SRM’s nightly capacity to 450 beds; a Resource Center to provide daytime shelter and access to essential services; and the recently completed 185- seat Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall.
During the planning and execution of these projects, there was no way of knowing that coronavirus would become a threat; one that disproportionately impacts the vulnerable individuals SRM serves. Yet, these facilities seem to have come at just the right time.
“There was no way to be completely prepared for this pandemic,” said Chief Development Officer Travis Williams. “But despite the outbreak we’ve seen among our city’s homeless population, these new facilities have enabled us to better care for these individuals and to offer them access to the invaluable resources we offer here at SRM.”
Now, in 2021, the time has come to place the capstone on this Community of Hope: a project that will result in a campus that is safe, secure and better-equipped to help neighbors in need. The final phase of construction will focus on enclosing the campus and creating a Welcome Center that will serve as a singular point of entry.
“This project could very well save lives,” said President & CEO Jack Briggs. “It will prevent drugs, alcohol and weapons from coming onto our campus and allow us to screen for communicable diseases like COVID-19. It’s essential in creating a safe space for our community’s most vulnerable men and women — a Community of Hope for our neighbors in need.”
COVID-19 has greatly underscored the importance of completing the project. When the campus is enclosed, the Welcome Center will be the only way in or out. Teams at the Mission currently take temperatures and screen guests for symptoms upon shelter entry, but there are currently many entry points to the large campus that make it impossible to know just who is coming and going.
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