Hope For The Holidays
This time of year is especially difficult for our neighbors struggling with homelessness. The weather is cold and wet. The days are short, and the nights are long. And for many, this is their first Thanksgiving without a home.
This year, they won’t gather around the dinner table and share a turkey dinner with family and friends as usual. For the first time, they can’t just relax on the sofa and watch a couple football games or bake their famous pumpkin pie and share it with the ones they love.
As they think about Thanksgiving, they’re afraid they won’t have anything to be thankful for.
But you can bring a neighbor struggling with homelessness Hope For The Holidays. They may feel lonely and forgotten, but they’re not. And when they see, smell and taste that their neighbors are thinking of them this Thanksgiving, it will lift their spirits, give them hope and remind them of the many things they can still be thankful for.
On November 18th, struggling families will receive a frozen turkey and everything they need to make Thanksgiving dinner from our Supportive Family Services program. We hope to have enough to go around, but we still need more turkeys and all the fixings (i.e. canned vegetables, stuffing mixes, gravy packets, etc.).
And then on November 22nd, dozens of volunteers will help us serve Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of homeless neighbors at our annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at City Auditorium. Guests will be served a complete turkey dinner, invited to grab some warm clothing items, and receive a free flu shot if they’d like one.
All of this is made possible because neighbors like you care. Thank you for remembering our neighbors struggling with homelessness, and please continue to remember them in your daily prayers.
Springs Rescue Mission is participating in IndyGive! again this year, and there’s no better way to help a neighbor in need and get some cool, local rewards at the same time. Give $25 or more to Springs Rescue Mission through IndyGive! and receive awesome rewards at local favorites like Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Bingo Burger, Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery, and Mining Exchange. The more you give, the bigger the reward!
And if you know a young, budding philanthropist who can’t wait to help others this holiday season, there are special rewards for donors under the age of 17. Your kids can experience the joy of helping others and a free slice of cheese pizza at Poor Richard’s at the same time.
Spread the word and help us stay on top of the leaderboard. Because the more you donate, the more we’ll receive in matching grants from community partners to help our neighbors struggling with homelessness, poverty and addiction. Learn more and Give! today.
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
Same Kind of Different As Me
Last month, a film adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book Same Kind of Different As Me hit movie theaters everywhere. Based on a true story, Greg Kinnear and Renee Zellweger play Ron and Debbie Hall, a couple who start volunteering at a soup kitchen in Fort Worth, Texas to help mend their broken marriage. The Halls just wanted to give back and help others, but God had much bigger plans for the two of them.
After meeting a homeless man (played by Djimon Hounsou) with a difficult past marked by poverty and racial prejudice, Ron and Debbie benefit from his loving heart and unexpected wisdom, helping them through the darkest hours of their lives. Djimon’s portrayal of Denver Moore comes straight from the heart, having personally struggled with homelessness in France as a child.
Stories of Hope
Every Sunday morning, our chaplain, David, leads Sunday Chapel for shelter guests. Michelle was nervous, but she stood up and asked for prayer. Praying as the Lord led him, David prayed that the Lord would give Michelle a new beginning, renewed confidence, and set her free from shame and guilt. Michelle was noticeably moved by the prayer, leaving the service in tears. For a couple weeks, David watched for Michelle, but she was nowhere to be found. And then one day she stopped by to share some great news with David. She found two jobs and was only $50 away from having enough saved to get her own apartment. She was so excited and thankful for what the Lord was doing in her life!
Jeff was furious. He stormed into our kitchen, cursing and flailing his arms. “My stuff has been stolen and I want to know who did it!” he yelled. Mike, one of our chefs, calmed Jeff down and asked him to sit down for a couple minutes. Mike listened to Jeff, assured him that we would help him replace the clothes and personal items that were taken, and invited him to stay for dinner and spend a night in our shelter. The next morning, Mike met up with Jeff and walked with him to our Supportive Family Services store, where he was able to shop for clothes, shoes, and other items. With two full bags, Jeff was thankful and grateful for Springs Rescue Mission and the neighbors that donated their belongings so he had something to wear while he looks for work and housing.
Struggling with a physical disability, Christopher wasn’t able to work. And without a job, he lost his housing. Christopher came to our resource center and met with one of our client navigators to figure out what options were available. He did the leg work of going to the Social Security office and getting the paperwork he needed. He asked our client navigator a couple questions about the paperwork, but he was able to fill most of it out by himself. Christopher then scheduled a couple doctors’ appointments and used some bus passes we provided to make it to his appointments. His Supplemental Security Income was approved quickly, and in a couple of weeks Christopher found some housing he could afford.
The following are actual prayer requests submitted by guests in our shelters, resource center, store, and kitchen. Please join Springs Rescue Mission staff and others as we remember these people in our daily prayers:
“Please pray for everyone here at the Springs Rescue Mission. That everyone will be blessed. Pray also for all the homeless in this world.” James
“Pray for me. I have cancer and the hospital is giving me shots to help me. Thank you.” Michael
“My husband is lost. Pray for him, that he’d find peace and come back to the real world.” Anonymous
“Pray that my job search is successful.” Cathy
“For everyone to get out of their binds and better their lives.” Anonymous
“Pray for Tina, a homeless lady. She’s diabetic and sleeps on the streets. Pray that she’ll be safe and get into the women’s shelter.” Sheila
“Pray that people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.” Daniel
Our Amazing Community
On November 10th, friends and neighbors throughout Colorado Springs donated hundreds of turkeys and all the fixings so their neighbors struggling with homelessness and poverty can celebrate Thanksgiving around the dinner table. The Chick-fil-A at Northgate and Voyager gave generous donors a free Chicken Biscuit or Chicken Sandwich with each turkey they donated. We’re hoping to reach 850 turkeys before Thanksgiving, so we can hand them out to struggling families and put the rest in a smoker to serve to hungry neighbors at our annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at City Auditorium, November 22nd.
Local Businesses & Churches
The Behr & Behr Team at The Platinum Group Realtors, Global Market Development Center, and Vista Grande Baptist Church helped kick off our annual turkey drive in a big way. The Behr & Behr team collected about 100 turkeys outside their office and GMDC‘s staff collected 21 turkeys and dropped them off at the Mission. Last but certainly not least, members of Vista Grande Baptist Church collected more than 380 turkeys to help our homeless neighbors celebrate Thanksgiving around the dinner table!
Not that anybody ever needed an excuse to splurge on some decadent chocolates, but this month you can fix a chocolate craving and help the community at the same time. Our friends at Cacao Chemistry are donating 10% of all their Tuesday sales throughout the month of November to help their neighbors out.
Century 21 Curbow Realty is collecting socks to help our guests avoid frostbite this winter. Stop by their offices and donate new socks at 3659 Star Ranch Rd until December 15th to help our neighbors stay warm.
We love our local business partners and we’re always looking for more. If you’re a local business or church and you’re looking for a great way to help the community, let us know by calling (719) 632-1822 or by emailing us at info@SpringsRescueMission.org.
Local Hunters and Farmers
Several local hunters and farmers are making a big difference in our community by helping their neighbors in need. In the month of October, we received more than 500 lbs of fresh produce, 2,500 lbs of winter squash, and 1,000 lbs of potatoes. And that’s not all. They also donated a 155 lb pig, 165 lbs of beef, and a deer. Our guests not only enjoyed the tasty protein for breakfast and dinner, but men in our addiction recovery program learned how to butcher some meat in our culinary arts classes.
What we accomplished in October
3,200 showers were taken by our homeless guests. Since July, more than 12,000 showers have been taken, restoring dignity for hundreds of people struggling with homelessness.
A record-breaking 16,490 meals were served out of our small kitchen. That’s more than 530 meals a day!
Men in our New Life Program attended over 250 hours of case management and spiritual counseling. One man made a profession of faith and was baptized at the local church he attends.
More than 750 families shopped around our free-for-the-taking Supportive Family Services store, gathering clothing, food, hygiene items, and household goods to help them make it through the month of October. Since July, more than 1,800 families have benefited from 3,500 food boxes and over 19,000 lbs of clothing.
Since September, 1,136 loads of laundry have been washed in our new resource center laundry room. Clean clothes help our guests stay clean, confident and healthy.
Our men and women’s shelters provided 8,601 nights of shelter. We installed additional bunk-style beds in our women’s shelter, allowing more women to get a good night’s rest in a comfortable bed rather than on a thin sleeping mat on the ground.
979 case management and partner agency service sessions were made in our resource center throughout October. Partner agencies like the Department of Human Services and Aspen Pointe have dedicated office space on our campus to help our guests save time and minimize the effort required to pursue services.
October weather recap
Average high: 65 °F
Average low: 35 °F
Precipitation: .23 inches
In the news
In Colorado Springs
- The nonprofit can accommodate 300 people a night – making it the city’s largest provider of homeless shelter beds.
- Mayor John Suthers, the National League of Cities and local advocates for the homeless called on landlords Thursday to accept the vouchers from veterans needing a place to live rather than taking advantage of the hot rental market.
- Hundreds of homeless [people] are flocking to local shelters trying to find a reprieve from the bitter cold, but with shelters already filled to the max many are forced to face the elements outside.
- A Denver chronic-homelessness initiative that aims to keep participants in housing and out of jail has seen “promising” early results, according to evaluators hired to assess its performance.
- Sanchez is one of the 628 veteran women in Colorado who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless so far this year, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Around the US
- “Everyone has bad times. That’s what life is. If you have a positive attitude and deal with things as they happen, there’s always a good thing after a bad thing.”
- The contrast between Nashville’s simultaneously growing prosperity and inequality has never been sharper, and the affordable housing crisis is only making the homelessness problem harder to solve.
Around the world
- A homeless man managed to get out of his tent moments before it was engulfed in flames after being set alight.
- Between April and June this year, more than 600 people aged over 60 were made homeless – more than twice the rate of 2009, said a report by the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents local government authorities in England and Wales.
- Recently, a homeless man dropped by to tell him about some books he’d found in a Burnaby alley. But there was a problem.