Winter Weather Is Here
Our men and women’s shelters along with our new resource center are fully operational, and just in the nick of time. Winter weather has arrived. Snow, freezing rain, frigid overnight temperatures, and bone-chilling wind make it dangerous and even life-threatening to be outside without shelter. Overnight, our shelters keep hundreds of people safe and warm, and during the day, our guests stay warm, take hot showers, wash laundry, work a couple of shifts to keep our facilities clean and visit partner agencies for health, employment, and housing services in our resource center.
But our Community of Hope building project isn’t complete. We can only seat 65 people at a time in Samaritan’s Kitchen. Therefore, hundreds of people are waiting outdoors in long lines, waiting as we seat everyone in several shifts for breakfast and dinner. We’re working to build a 200-seat dining hall with a large kitchen, classroom space for culinary arts training for men going through our addiction recovery program, and a permanent home for Mission Catering. But we need $2.5 million before we can break ground and hopefully start the project this coming spring.
With the coldest months of the year quickly approaching, please donate warm socks, coats, snow boots, hats, gloves and other winter gear to help keep our guests safe and warm this winter. And it’s easier than ever to start a fundraiser on Crowdrise to benefit Springs Rescue Mission and help us provide tens of thousands of meals and nights of shelter throughout the year.
Expanded Shelter Capacity
The 2017 Point-in-time (PIT) survey revealed that there are an estimated 450 people in Colorado Springs without shelter on any given night. That’s an increase of 150 people compared to last year. So, we’ve expanded our shelters to help meet the growing needs of our community.
Last year, we regularly sheltered 32 women and 168 men every night. We’re now sheltering 70 women and 230 men, providing a warm bed and safe environment for 300 people a night.
For many of our guests, their pathway out of homelessness, poverty and addiction starts with a warm meal and a safe night in our shelter. Half of the women and a third of the men in our shelters meet with a client navigator afterward, working to find sustainable health, employment, and housing services.
If you have a heart for serving people and a desire to help your neighbors in need, come volunteer at the Mission. We are serving more neighbors than ever and need your help! Volunteer at the front desk, serve guests using our new shower and laundry facilities or help guests search for jobs. Sign up to be a volunteer, today.
Stories and highlights
Mayor John Suthers’ State of the City Address
“I want to thank those individuals and organizations that are working so hard to extend and improve our ability to provide food, shelter and services to the situational and chronically homeless in our community…We have made a great deal of progress over the last few years and we have a unified vision as to what remains to be done.
“I also want to thank our local churches and their pastors. Over the last couple of years, I’ve challenged them to adopt the homeless as a ministry, and they’ve responded with thousands of volunteer hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable giving.”
Watch the mayor’s entire State of the City address.
Stories of Hope
Jeff and Stacy couldn’t find an apartment. With numerous evictions in their past, the possibility of finding a new home was slim. They met with a client navigator in our resource center, and she worked tirelessly with Jeff and Stacy to find housing. She called property managers, joined them during housing appointments, and helped them navigate the turbulent current as they proverbially rowed up a creek without a paddle. Jeff and Stacy eventually found an apartment and they couldn’t have done it without the help of their client navigator.
Ron had nowhere else to go. After staying clean for over seventeen years, deep depression led to a relapse. Turning to drugs to help, Ron’s wife said enough is enough. She kicked him out of the house, and he came to Springs Rescue Mission, seeking shelter and help. Hoping to restore his relationships with his wife and children, a shelter manager prayed with Ron and encouraged him to continue to communicate with his family. Ron is devoted to his family and is making every effort to do the right thing. He’s stayed clean for several weeks and is regularly meeting with a counselor. With uplifted spirits and renewed hope, he’s on track to be back with his family for the holidays.
After spending a few days in separate shelters, Ted and Brooke wanted to get on a bus and go back to Nevada. They didn’t want to spend another night apart from each other and were tired of struggling with homelessness in Colorado. They met with a client navigator in our resource center, and asked for a bus ticket home. But their navigator wanted to help them find long-term solutions so they could overcome homelessness. Working with several partner agencies located in our resource center, the navigator was able to help Ted and Brooke with medication management, couples counseling, and assistance through the Department of Human Services. Ted and Brooke are now navigating a sustainable pathway out of homelessness rather than sitting on a bus to continue struggling with homelessness somewhere else.
Michael, a kitchen guest, asks for prayer as he looks for a job.
David, one of our shelter guests, is on the waiting list for affordable housing and is praying that he receives a phone call soon that a unit is available.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” These are words of wisdom and a prayer request from Maya, one of our kitchen guests.
Shelly, one of our Supportive Family Services guests, asks for prayer while she has a difficult time finding another job as a certified Medicaid assistant.
Another SFS guest asks for prayer as she looks for safe and affordable housing for her and her young child.
Our Amazing Community
Go With the Flow
On October 7th, Humans Optimistically Motivating Each-other (HOME) hosted their second annual Go With the Flow Donation Show at Triple Nickel. The goal of the show: Collect thousands of feminine and hygiene products to help our guests. Local artists like Cheap Perfume, Alone, Tejon Street Corner Thieves, and e.claire performed to make it an exciting night of music and philanthropy. By the end of the night, they collected over 3,500 hygiene and feminine products!
On September 30th, fifty volunteers from local church congregations helped clean Springs Rescue Mission’s shelters and the Mill Street Neighborhood community garden. Last year, 1,500 volunteers contributed 5,000 hours of service to the city of Colorado Springs, saving the city an estimated $115,000. Want to help or get your church involved in next year’s Day of Service? Learn more about City Serve.
On September 28th, BombBomb raised $11,000 for Springs Rescue Mission during their No Tie Happy Hour event. But that’s not all. Several staff members stopped by the Mission and volunteered in Samaritan’s Kitchen last week. BombBomb’s on a mission to help people build relationships one video email at a time, and we’re thankful for their generous involvement in helping Colorado Springs’ neighbors struggling with homelessness, poverty and addiction.
What we accomplished in September
523 loads of laundry washed in our new resource center.
Two men graduated from our addiction recovery program. Both men graduated with jobs and housing lined up.
708 families received clothing, food, and hygiene items in our Supportive Family Services shop. Since July, we’ve provided 1,500 families with 2,772 food boxes and over six metric tons of clothing.
Client navigators in our resource center held 320 case management sessions and helped facilitate 482 sessions with partner agencies that provide employment, housing, and health services.
September weather recap
Average high: 76 °F
Average low: 51 °F
Precipitation: 2.77 inches
In the news
In Colorado Springs
- It’s the latest realization of Springs Rescue Mission’s vision for an unprecedented campus providing a literal path from the streets to housing.
- Any given night the Rescue Mission sees about 300 people stopping by to eat, during the week the shelter goes through about 4,500 pounds of food.
- A 50-unit affordable housing project catering to homeless veterans is being planned for the Cimarron Hills area, the Pikes Peak United Way announced.
- “We both had jobs. My husband worked full time overnights. I worked full time days. We had income coming in. We were saving. It’s just rent was going up and we had four kids,” Briggs said.
- “This opportunity has given me a chance to have a roof over my head. A place I can call a safe home for six months while I go back to work and save money to get self-sustainable,” Lucero said.
Around the US
- “It can be done,” Woodall said. “If someone didn’t care for me, I would still be out on the streets doing what I was always doing.”
- Officials in Idaho’s capitol city say they’re happy with a program offering homeless residents employment with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.
- But instead of going back home or to a federally-subsidized apartment, Jones – one of the roughly 3,600 people who were already among Houston’s homeless before the storm hit – was headed back onto the streets with more challenges than ever of getting off them.
- Just a week after the City of Spokane put down rocks to discourage people hanging out under the I-90 overpass, Spokane’s City Council President Ben Stuckart says it was a mistake.
Around the world
- “So-called sofa surfing is common and people can end up staying with virtual strangers where they are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”
- Dancer and choreographer Yuuki Aoki, who founded the group ten years ago, says he was intrigued by the weather-battered bodies of the homeless men, and the kind of artistic expression they might produce.