Low-barrier Shelter: What does it mean? - Springs Rescue Mission Low-barrier Shelter: What does it mean? - Springs Rescue Mission

The weather the past couple weeks has been below freezing and in some cases, the coldest nights and days have been in the single digits. To put it frankly, it is life-threatening to remain outside during this time of year. Finding a place to stay overnight that provides shelter from the elements and safety from danger can be a difficult task in Colorado Springs.

That’s what makes SRM’s new year-round shelter unique: it is the only low-barrier shelter in Colorado Springs.

But what does that mean?

Gentleman eating donut and drinking coffee.Being a low-barrier shelter means we accept people as they are and provide a safe, warm place of shelter for those who may have no other option. While some shelters may require a homeless neighbor to be sober or pass a drug test, we don’t. A neighbor experiencing homelessness can show up at our doors without an I.D., with a pet in tow and alcohol on their breath and they will find shelter with us.

 

Not only for them but also their pet.

Yes, Pets Can Stay at Springs Rescue Mission

We all know a pet isn’t merely another animal.

A dog is someone’s best friend. A cat becomes the only family a neighbor in need has. And in some cases, we understand a homeless person may choose to stay outside, even on the coldest nights, if they aren’t able to find shelter for both themselves and their pet.

Pet kennels at the low-barrier shelter.That’s why our new shelter offers kennels for our neighbors’ pets.

When we recognized pets were a barrier to entry for individuals seeking shelter, we realized we needed to provide a place for pets. And so our guests are welcome to bring their pets with them   to our shelter.

More Services and Facilities to Build

Recently, we’ve realized a portion of the community we serve and the Colorado Springs community-at-large doesn’t understand we operate a low-barrier shelter. We also know there are more barriers we can try to alleviate. And we’re working on it.

The opening of our low-barrier shelter was only the beginning of our campus expansion. A recent news article interviewed individuals experiencing homelessness, and a lack of showers and lockers were mentioned as reasons for not coming into the shelter.

We understand these issues and are working hard to offer these services to those we serve.

Showers and Lockers for our Guests

In just a few months, our new resource center will offer 16 showers to our guests. Also, when our welcome center opens in the fall of 2018, we will provide lockers for our guests to store their possessions.

As you can tell, there is much to do. And this work is only made possible by the generous support of neighbors like you. The generosity of our neighbors and this community continues to amaze and bless us.

Will You Help us Match a $50,000 Mystery Gift?

Recently, we received an anonymous financial donation of $50,000. This unexpected gift, given by a Secret Santa of sorts, couldn’t come at a more opportune time. We don’t know who this mystery donor was, but we do know this: we want to give you the opportunity to match their generosity.

Colorado Springs, we need your help. Will you help us raise another $50,000 by the end of the year? Imagine all the great work we could do as a community to help those in need. Please consider donating today.

While we’ve had such a strong first year of our campaign, we are still short of our final financial goal to complete our campus. So we emphatically need our community’s help to finish the project. When the campus is complete, we will have all facilities and services needed to empower guests onto a pathway of recovery, rehabilitation and empowerment.

2 Comments

  1. how much food do you need

  2. I was on the staff part time at a high barrier shelter in Ohio. I became frustrated at the number of people turned away. I dont think its donors understand the high vs low barrier models comparison. If they did the organization would be held more accountable.

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About the Author - Thomas Voss

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