Becoming homeless is devastating, and the first night at a shelter can be an overwhelming experience.
But for hundreds of men and women in Colorado Springs, it’s a harsh reality that’s lived each day.
At the Mission, we understand the stress and confusion that many individuals face on their first visit. With our campus complete, there are a variety of life-transforming resources and services available — but where should their journey begin?
That’s why we developed the Passport to Hope, a guiding document for guests of the Mission to overcome the cycles of homelessness, hunger, poverty and addiction in their lives.
“The Passport to Hope is a guide to engagement at Spring Rescue Mission,” said President & CEO Jack Briggs. “It’s a guide that provides opportunities for our guests to improve their health, their access to work and ultimately their housing needs. And it is our desire that these individuals will also find hope in the process.”
The document lays out the steps guests should take to move forward on their pathway out of homelessness, include involvement in a work program, meeting with a case manager and moving through the tiered-shelter program.
After receiving the Passport to Hope in our Resource Center, guests meet with community partners like Diversus Health (formerly Aspen Pointe) to address their mental health, Peak Vista to address their physical health, SRM Chaplain David Packiam to address their spiritual health, a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services to address their benefits, and last but certainly not least, a case manager to help them become engaged in work and shelter programming.
Once each step is completed, the guest receives a signature on their Passport to Hope and moves on to the next step.
“At this point, everyone who is in Work Engagement, who is involved in case management or who has transferred shelters is part of this program,” said Guest Services Coordinator Taylor Vaughan. “I think it’s great for accountability. It’s a way to have people engaged in our campus in an organized fashion. It tells us where people are at on their journey and how we can better serve them.”
Below is a brief overview of those steps.
Case Management & Seeking Services
Through case management programs, men and women can access services from 16 partner agencies, including counseling, therapy, dentistry and essential medical services. Case managers also help guests navigate the shelter system and recommend next steps on their pathway out of homelessness. This program can also assist SRM clients in securing government benefits.
For unemployed guests, a great way to give back, get involved and become eligible for the Next Step shelter programs is Work Engagement. Participants in the program perform functions like cleaning, dishwashing, serving in the kitchen and doing laundry. The program also provides classes and guidance for skill building related to the working world.
Springs Rescue Mission has a “tiered shelter system,” which breaks the shelters into three tiers for both men and women: Entry, Next Step and Advanced. It’s designed to create steps out of homelessness and back to self-sufficiency. When a guest enters a new shelter program, it’s known as “transferring shelters.”
Here is an example of the Passport to Hope document:
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