Senior Director of Fort Collins Rescue Mission
Will you share about your journey at the Mission?
During the summer of 2005 before I graduated from CSU, I lived in one of the dorms at Harvest Farm as an intern. By working alongside the men in the Farm’s New Life Program, I discovered two things: a reinvigorated personal faith supported by this community where the only prerequisite is acknowledging your brokenness, and that by either nature or nurture, I have an affinity for those who are on the margins of society. After that summer, I came back to work as a cashier at the Fall Festival and later became a part-time volunteer coordinator and part-time instructor. I then became an education coordinator (and beekeeper on the side) and later the director of Harvest Farm before stepping into the role of senior director of Fort Collins Rescue Mission and Harvest Farm.
What are you hoping to accomplish in your new role?
One goal is to create a community within our staff that capitalizes on sharing our strengths and weaknesses to support each other, much like Paul describes the Body of Christ. Another goal is to establish collaboration with other service providers. While we will continue to preserve the uniqueness of our programs and work, the more resources we can bring to participants and guests through collaboration with medical, mental health, municipal, and county partnerships, the better. Harvest Farm and Fort Collins Rescue Mission are often the last hope for people who come through our doors, and it is both a great privilege and a challenge to meet them at their physical and spiritual points of need.
How is the Mission serving the homeless community in response to COVID-19 and how can the community support its efforts?
One exciting example of a newly-forged partnership is our ability to provide socially distanced overnight shelter to up to 150 men at a temporary shelter on Blue Spruce Drive this winter. This will triple our current capacity and provide a much safer space as we continue to soldier through this pandemic together. Your donations keep our doors open for everyone who needs our help. Volunteers are also vital. Also, please pray for us during the cloud of uncertainty that has come along with this pandemic.
Why are you passionate about the Mission’s work in breaking the cycle of homelessness in the Northern Colorado community?
Working for the Mission is not a job—it is a calling. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. To offer hope to our guests and program participants when they can’t find hope for themselves; to see dignity in the exiled and forgotten; to share the love we have been given by our good God—is there anything better? Not for me at least.
This post is a part of December’s Changing Lives Newsletter. In this edition, A Home for the Holidays, you’ll learn about how your gifts are helping people like Michael find hope and self-sufficiency.