As the seasons change so do the interns here at the Mission. Interns bring in so much creativity and enthusiasm when they come into the workplace, and they leave with so much too. They leave with changed hearts, and new outlooks on life. This semester the Mission had a total of six interns at Fort Collins Rescue Mission, and here are four of their experiences.

Luis Cordova (LEC and Intake Intern)

Luis is an LEC (Life, Education, and Care) and intake specialist intern. He works with individuals to provide services that best fit their needs and forms relationships with the participants by teaching them life skills and helping them further their education. Luis always knew of Denver Rescue Mission but did not know they had an internship program until he went to college and heard his friends talk about it.  

“I thought working with people experiencing homelessness would be a lot harder, but it turns out these people are just like you and I and they are very much just regular people. 

The fuel that keeps me going is that I get to see men who genuinely want to change their lives and seeing them work hard for success is what keeps me wanting to work harder. It is hard to have to turn down a participant but watching everyone else around me grow and challenge themselves makes it easier on me. Being that hand in change motivates me to a whole different degree. 

I have really enjoyed my time here at the internship and I hope that when I start the job hunt, I can continue to work here at Denver Rescue Mission since I enjoy the work this organization does. I have nothing to say but good things about the workplace, the only annoyance is the drive but even that is not too bad!” 

Campbell Fix (Case Management Intern) 

Campbell is a case management intern. She helps clients who are recovering from addiction, homelessness or coming from jail reentry. She also helps develop treatment plans, review case files, record case details, and help clients with any case management needs. Campbell heard about the Mission when she volunteered there and did a service project. She had always had a heart for this kind of work. “There is a documentary that Soft White Belly produced that took an inside look at Tent City and that video made me want to be a part of that work.” 

“Suffering is not always a choice; it makes me sad that some people view people experiencing homelessness as less than human Some wonder, ‘How could I help?’ Have you tried giving them simply a smile? 

I am blessed to have the opportunity of being here for a second semester since I have been able to get a full picture view of how the organization works. My view of the job has shifted too since the first semester was memorizing all the ins and outs of my job, while the second semester has shifted to be more of a spiritual and heart matter. A special meeting that sticks out to me is with a participant who was having a rough 30 days. He asked if he could share his story and while listening, I felt moved and the Holy Spirit was evidently speaking to my heart. I brought up something I thought was key and it was a good reminder that we are simply the vessels for God’s work.

If I had anything important to end with, I would say that if you are interested in interning, keep an open mind when it comes to this kind of organization. Keep your mind on the things above and be open to it. Be engaged since that is how you will learn best and make as much of an impact as you can.” 

Caleb Norris (Chaplain and Shelter Operator Intern) 

Caleb interns as a chaplain and as a shelter operator. He focuses on providing spiritual guidance, building relationships, giving pastoral care, and teaching as chaplain. His role as a shelter operator involves overseeing the operations and making sure the guests’ short- and long-term needs are met. Caleb is from Tennessee and heard about the Mission from a friend at work who was interning at the Farm.  “I wanted to intern at Fort Collins Rescue Mission since I want to grow connections here and grow myself as well . . . I wanted to give to the area here.”  

“Comparison is the thief of joy; I know a lot of the guys here compare themselves to others who may be ahead, but a quote that has helped me and I try to share with them is, ‘Compare yourself not to someone’s else today, but instead your yesterday. 

Thanks to this opportunity, I have learned that I want to do this kind of work for the rest of my life. My experience here at the Mission has genuinely been one of the best summers of my life. The biggest lesson I have learned is that stepping out of your comfort zone can help anyone grow significantly. I recommend people step out of comfort more and learn about how there is not an overnight answer to solving homelessness.” 

Lauren Takahashi (Aftercare and Transition Intern)

Lauren interns at Harvest Farm and helps out with aftercare and transition. In this role, she is responsible for teaching participants vital life skills and preparing the final steps for participants before they graduate and start their new life.  Lauren heard about Harvest Farm and the intern program through two of her friends who enjoyed the program, and it sounded neat to her, so she decided to give it a try. “The atmosphere that I had heard of really made me want to be a part of it and help out.” 

“Before I had come into this organization, I had a very sheltered view of homelessness and was unaware of how people got into it and how they could get out. I really didn’t know a ton about homelessness and truthfully, I didn’t notice it that much. One of the biggest lessons I have learned here at the Mission, however, is that the people we work with are just people like you and me. They have all come from some sort of struggle, whether that is drugs, job layoffs, or other issues. One thing that has been made clear to me, however, is that those past incidents do not dictate who that person is. Homelessness is not a choice. 

I wish people knew a bit more about addicts and how they came to be one since it is a common trend to assume that most people choose to be an addict, which could not be farther from the truth. It is vital to see the why behind the addiction instead of just the addiction. I would love to thank Fort Collins Rescue Mission for all the insight into this issue, the staff who supported me, and just the Mission itself for caring for the marginalized people who tend to get overlooked.” 

Apply for an Internship

Ready to get started? Apply for an internship today, and we’ll work with you to determine what internship opportunities are a best fit for your skills and timeframe.

Maci Pike, Intern Coordinator

Still Have Questions?

We can’t wait to connect with you about the opportunities to intern here at Denver Rescue Mission. If you have any questions, please contact us online or call 303.313.2410

Written by: Charles Tieszen, Communications Intern