“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.” – Søren Kierkegaard
To say this year was difficult would be the understatement of the century. Because for so many, 2020 has been one of heartbreak, tragedy and loss.
But with the support of this amazing community, Springs Rescue Mission has weathered the stormy seas of economic uncertainty and global pandemic to continue helping neighbors in need. There’s much to grieve, but there’s also much to celebrate — so many reasons to be grateful.
HOPE SHINES THROUGH THE DARKNESS.
Below, you’ll find some of the many stories that unfolded at Springs Rescue Mission over the past 12 months. None of it could have happened without the support of this amazing community. We love you, we thank you and we wish you nothing but the best in the year to come.
After years of planning and a groundbreaking in early 2019, Springs Rescue Mission opened its new 185-seat “Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall” to the public in September.
The 10,000-square-foot building includes a 5,000-square-foot dining hall and a 2,500-square-foot commercial kitchen. It also includes dedicated space for Mission Catering, Mission Culinary Academy and other job training programs.
“The completion of our new Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall is so exciting,” said former President & CEO Larry Yonker. “We’re truly grateful to all of our generous donors and to the City of Colorado Springs for helping make this project a reality.”
The Mission served around 800 holiday meals out of the new facility, while observing COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the new “Samaritan’s Kitchen and Dining Hall.”
Construction Begins on New ‘Welcome Center’
The final phase of the Community of Hope campaign will focus on enclosing the campus and creating a Welcome Center to serve as a singular point of entry for Springs Rescue Mission. The Welcome Center will be the place where neighbors in need begin their journey toward finding help and hope to overcome any obstacle in their path.
“We want to know everyone who steps foot on our campus – know their names, their stories, their struggles and how we can help,” said former President & CEO Larry Yonker. “We want to know how best to serve them, and what we can do to help them.”
The importance of this project has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The enclosure of the campus and the creation of the Welcome Center make it possible to screen all guests for communicable diseases, as well as protect other guests from exposure to drugs, alcohol and weapons.
STAY TUNED for more information about the Welcome Center and completing this Community of Hope!
SRM Responds to COVID-19 and Helps Create ‘Isolation Shelter’
The Mission transitioned to “emergency response” mode in mid-March and helped to establish an “isolation shelter” at City Auditorium in downtown Colorado Springs, where homeless individuals who are symptomatic or have tested positive for the virus can seek safe shelter in which to quarantine and seek medical attention.
Staff and volunteers at Springs Rescue Mission continue to evaluate and address all potential risks of exposure to the homeless community and will continue implementing “Layers of Safety” protocols the organization developed in response to COVID-19.
“We will continue to take proactive measures while working daily to provide reliable shelter, meals and life-giving services to guests,” said Chief Development Officer Travis Williams. “Please pray for our homeless neighbors and all who serve them as we work together to keep them safe.”
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mission’s COVID-19 response.
President & CEO Larry Yonker announced earlier this year his intent to retire after serving as the Mission’s leader since 2013.
“These have been the best years of my life. I’m so blessed by what we’ve been able to do here. What I hoped for was to change lives, and I think we’ve done that. … I’m just so incredibly grateful and just feel so, so blessed to have been a part of what God is doing here.”
Yonker handed the reigns to current President & CEO Jack Briggs in October.
CLICK HERE to learn most about Larry Yonker, his leadership and his decision to retire.
Earlier this year, Springs Rescue Mission and First Presbyterian Church partnered to reopen the former Café 225 (225 N. Weber St.) in downtown Colorado Springs with a new moniker — “Samaritan Coffee at 225.”
All proceeds from the new social enterprise will be used to support various Springs Rescue Mission programs aimed at helping individuals struggling with hunger, homelessness, unemployment and addiction in Colorado Springs.
“The coffee and the environment are top notch, but what really makes Samaritan Coffee at 225 great is that every purchase transforms lives,” said SRM Food & Beverage Director Jason Horn, who is also a graduate of the New Life Program. “You can see the difference you’re making with each cup.”
CLICK HERE to read more about Samaritan Coffee at 225.
After a rigorous search process, Springs Rescue Mission’s Board of Directors named Jack Briggs the organization’s next President. The announcement was initially made during the Summer and Briggs assumed the position upon the retirement of former President & CEO Larry Yonker in October.
“This feels like a calling to me — I feel called back to Colorado to help,” Briggs said. “I knew that one day God would ask me to serve and that I needed to obey; and it’s an honor to do that.”
CLICK HERE to learn more about SRM’s new President & CEO Jack Briggs.
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