For the folks at Springs Rescue Mission, June was a month to celebrate our neighborhood, community and wonderful city of Colorado Springs.
Last month, the residents of Greenway Flats celebrated the first anniversary of the building’s completion — a whole year of home for those who spent so long without one. We saw New Life Program residents and Samaritan’s Kitchen staff get involved in the nearby Mill Street Community Garden, creating a beautiful neighborhood partnership that will produce fresh herbs, flowers and goodwill. The nice folks from PikeRide rolled out their new bike-share location in front of Greenway Flats and hosted a fun group ride around downtown Colorado Springs. Three men graduated the New Life Program (men’s residential recovery program for addiction and alcoholism) after a year of hard work and dedication.
Amidst so much hardship, frustration and sadness in the world, there are still so many cool things happening at the Mission — so much worth celebrating.
Here are a few highlights from June:
A year ago, Springs Rescue Mission — in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs, Nor’wood Development Group and other community partners — officially opened Greenway Flats, the region’s first permanent supportive housing complex.
Greenway Flats is a four-story, 65-unit apartment building for men and women who have experienced chronic homelessness. Development of the complex began in 2018 and the first tenants began moving into their 400-square-foot studio apartments — all with modern amenities and many with west-facing Pikes Peak views — last June, with a grand opening in July.
Greenway Flats has helped nearly 70 formerly homeless individuals find permanent housing. It has been a game-changer for neighbors who spent years living on the streets or in shelters. They no longer fear for their lives in the freezing cold of Colorado winter, or experience the extreme stress of constantly searching for nightly shelter. They now have a home and the security of knowing it won’t be taken from them.
Eric graduates the New Life Program
There was an abundance of both laughter and tears as Eric graduated from the New Life Program last month. Nearly twenty of his mentors, co-residents and family members spoke, praising his tenacity and patience. They referred to him as an amazing friend with a big heart. As one mentor put it, “he continued to be faithful, he continued to be obedient, he continued to stay the course even when he didn’t want to.”
Eric chose Philippians 3:8-11 as his graduation passage: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my LORD, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Situated atop a small hill overlooking Springs Rescue Mission is a well-kept secret of the historic Mill Street neighborhood — a 15,000-square-foot community garden that was started in 2012 by a group of plant-loving neighbors.
Now, the folks from SRM’s culinary programs and those garden-tending neighbors have come together in a mutually beneficial partnership. In exchange for help caring for the garden, the Mill Street neighbors have generously offered the Mission dedicated space to grow a variety of herbs for cooking and job training, as well as fresh flowers to adorn the tables of the Samaritan’s Kitchen dining hall.
“We get so many potatoes and carrots and other staple foods, but this is an opportunity to go beyond that and have things that may otherwise go overlooked,” said Tyler Peoples, SRM’s director of work programs. “To have fresh-cut flowers for the guests and these herbs to be creative with is such a blessing.”
Justin graduates the New Life Program
Justin graduated the New Life Program last month! His fellow residents, case managers and those he’s worked with in the warehouse spoke of his wisdom, steadiness and encouragement of others. His case manager specifically pointed out his “patient endurance,” as he was in the program for nearly three years.
The Bible verse he chose for his graduation was Romans 5:3-5: “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
We were thrilled to have staff from PikeRide on the Springs Rescue Mission campus last month as they rolled out their newest bike share location in front of Greenway Flats.
They gave test rides, helped Greenway Flats residents sign up for free memberships and hosted a community ride around downtown. Five electric-assisted bicycles will be available at Greenway Flats, and there are currently dozens of locations in the city’s core.
Richard graduates the New Life Program
Richard was joined by New Life Program staff and fellow residents during his graduation last month — after a year of hard work, endurance and trust in God. During the ceremony, his mentors and co-residents praised his extreme focus, generous spirit and determination. They also encouraged him to continue being obedient to God’s will.
Richard chose Psalm 91:14 as his graduation verse: “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
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