Desiree Anthony is more than an emergency services and community outreach coordinator
at Fort Collins Rescue Mission. She’s an advocate. Her days are filled with plans that are
constantly changing but a goal that remains the same: meet guests’ immediate needs while
helping them take steps toward securing housing.
Desiree: The Advocate
“I asked the Lord to put me in a place where I could do the most good for Him. I’m relieving
suffering. Having experienced it myself, I know the despair and horror of it. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been addicted. I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression and PTSD. I’ve felt hopeless. I’ve felt unworthy. I’ve apologized for my existence.
It was like you had to hide your own body. Nobody wants you around.
You lose your checking account. You lose your ID. There’s nowhere to charge your phone. You don’t have transportation. You don’t have a good night’s sleep. You literally have no control over your own life.
Terrifying isn’t even the word.
It brought me so much closer to understanding Jesus Christ—what Christ’s consciousness truly is. There’s a depth to it, that for these guys experiencing homelessness, just cannot be duplicated. You realize that you do not need anything but God, when that’s all you have, is God.
I am an advocate. I stick up for people who cannot stick up for themselves
and speak for those who don’t have the words. I value everybody as a child of God. My cup of hope is overflowing; my cup of resilience is never ending.”
When Desiree walked into her
office on a Friday afternoon to
start her workday, she was elated
to see a piece of mail on her desk:
a housing voucher for a guest she’d
been working with. She beamed
as she made the call to share the
A former guest, Thomas, stopped by. He had recently received a housing voucher, but his apartment application got rejected because he needed to submit additional paperwork. Desiree helped him fill this out, and they hopped in the Mission van to drop it off before the weekend. “Desiree doesn’t take no for an answer,” Thomas said.
She’s often taking guests to appointments,
such as to the DMV and social security office. Her goal is to help guests secure all the documents they need to be ready for housing.
After returning to the office, another
guest, Maverick came in—in
desperate need of Desiree’s help. He
is a refugee who just found out he
was losing custody of his kids and
not able to secure housing. “I’m
going to do whatever I can to figure
this out,” she told him.
Desiree typically works with about
20 guests at a time on their housing
solutions. When she’s not in the
office, she’s attending meetings of
various committees, such as the
City of Fort Collins Homelessness
Advisory Committee, to stay
updated on housing opportunities
Once she wraps up her meetings, Desiree often helps at the Mission’s dinner service and starts checking guests in at the men’s dorm.
While managing the guest list, Desiree assigns open beds to guests who need a place to stay. She also hands out hygiene products, socks, underwear, and other clothing items upon request. She sees this part of her shift as an opportunity to get to know the guests, learn their needs, establish trust, and build relationships.
Once the guests are settled for the night, Desiree is ready to head home to her family of six. After a busy day—mixed with hopeful news, unexpected changes and challenging conversations, she remembers that God moves mountains. “When we hit roadblocks, we pray,” she said. “The Lord does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”