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Photo courtesy Denver Rescue Mission

Meals and Life Skills for Homeless Individuals

Denver Rescue Mission provides meals and volunteer opportunities to the community.

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Cindy adopted her son PJ when he was eight years old. In foster care at the time, PJ had a genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome, and needed special care. Cindy continued to work as a substitute teacher where PJ attended school, but when he turned 21, his government assistance decreased significantly, even though he still needed care while Cindy worked. Cindy found herself paying out more for his care than she was bringing home, so she stopped substitute teaching. Over time, she used up her savings, slipped further into debt, and found herself living out of her van.

Then Cindy entered the Denver Rescue Mission’s STAR Transitional program at The Crossing, a residential program designed to help people transition into self-sufficiency.

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“My expenses were one third of what they were before we moved there. I could take a deep breath and finally save money,” says Cindy. “I concentrated on getting my debt paid off, and that really helped us.” In time, Cindy and PJ moved into their own apartment, equipped with new knowledge about budgeting learned through the program.

The STAR Transitional program at The Crossing is one of many faith-based initiatives of the Denver Rescue Mission, which supports the needs of homeless families and individuals, and helps them save money and develop life skills. “Everyone has a unique situation that is a little bit different,” says Alexxa Gagner, director of marketing and communications at the Denver Rescue Mission.

Providing meals to those in need is a large component of their mission. Last year, the Denver Rescue Mission provided 907,125 meals across all locations, which includes The Crossing, the Lawrence Street Community Center, and the Fort Collins Rescue Mission, in addition to other meal distribution efforts.

“They are all human beings who deserve dignity and respect,” Gagner says. “We want to shake their hand, welcome them in, and give them a meal.”

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