A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to the Mission’s Harvest Farm. It was so fun to walk through the property, meet all the animals and see everyone so hard at work.

My favorite part of the day was meeting all the program participants on the Farm. Some were coming close to graduating from the New Life Program while others had been there only a few weeks. But there were commonalities between them all. Each man was very proud (the good kind, the genuine kind) to explain what he was working on or describe the personality of the animal he was taking care of. Their words were laced with a sense of accomplishment that was so encouraging.I didn’t get to sit down and talk with anyone specifically about their story, but my interactions were significant to me. The rest of that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the familial aspect of Harvest Farm. Each person was doing their part, helping the whole. Not only were they working, but they were working with joy, truly taking pleasure in their tasks.

I felt so honored to witness it. Every participant that ends up in one of our programs takes a different route to get there. Because of these differences, we have different facilities. Some New Life Program participants go to The Crossing, located in Denver while others go to Harvest Farm. Each facility serves a different purpose. Some men want to stay in the city, close to family or other resources. But others need the fresh air and open space that the Farm provides. But each of them have a unique story and are seeking a fresh start in life. I think it’s incredible to see this come together and to watch people thrive in a new environment.