Christmas at the Mission
We are excited to welcome more than 120 guests to this year’s Christmas banquet— a special Christmas dinner for men, women and families who come to Fort Collins Rescue Mission. The Mission may be the only place where they can receive a homecooked meal this holiday season, and the volunteers will help create a positive dining experience by waiting on the guests—bringing them their plates, taking their drink orders and making them feel loved. The festive evening will include a chapel service hosted by Buckhorn Presbyterian Church and a special gift for each guest. Many of our guests haven’t had the joy of unwrapping a gift in years, and we want to demonstrate Jesus’ love and provision this Christmas to show our guests they are loved, they are cared for and there is reason to have hope.
The First Step
Preston has slipped in and out of homelessness for most of his life but has been able to find help at Missions all across the country. When he came to Fort Collins Rescue Mission for a meal and place to sleep, he was encouraged by the staff to join the Steps to Success Program. He’s now ready to take the first step in making a lasting change in his life.
“I grew up homeless. My dad would work at one job and then he’d get fired, mess up, and the next thing you know, we’ve got to move again. I didn’t have very many friends growing up, and we always lived in the worst parts of neighborhoods. My dad found work in different states, so we went and stayed at Missions—California, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee. Missions were just always there at the right moment, always. At Fort Collins Rescue Mission, they try their best to get more involved and help you out with jobs, with your birth certificate, with your license. That feeling that they actually care gives us all that little bit of hope to sustain and thrive—to make ourselves better.
The Bible says in the book of Matthew: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow worry about itself.’ If you put Him first, He will provide everything you need for that day. I live by that verse. Because of that, I got custody of my son back. My Veterans Affairs benefits are going through. Everything’s finally falling back into place when I was losing hope.
Fort Collins Rescue Mission makes sure that you know this is a stepping stone. They’re going to go out of their way to make sure you take all the possible steps that you need to succeed in life— whether it is anger management or life skills or whatever you need help with. The people who donate their time and their money, it’s them who keep this place going. Thank you. God bless you, and thank you.”
–Preston, Steps to Success participant
What is Steps to Success?
It’s a faith-based program at Fort Collins Rescue Mission for adult men and women who are experiencing homelessness, addiction or other negative and destructive habits. The 3-10 month program is designed to help them take steps out of homelessness toward self-sufficiency.
Number of individuals who joined Steps to Success
Percentage of participants who completed the program and did not return to a Mission shelter within one year
Paula Ordaz, manager of programs at the Mission, said that by providing meals and shelter, the staff is able to build relationships with guests and learn their needs. When guests indicate that they want to change or get out of their situations, they plant the seed for them to join Steps to Success. The program offers basic life-skills training, helps participants find sustainable housing and full-time employment, encourages involvement in positive communities, and shares the Good News of Jesus Christ.
“The people I’ve seen who have been successful in completing the program are really motivated from the beginning, and they have a clear goal of what they want, whether it’s sobriety, getting their own place or getting out of the shelter environment,” Paula said. “They start addressing their obstacles, and they get connected in the community. When they leave here, they’re building a community support structure outside, and a lot of them are rebuilding their beliefs in Jesus and reconnecting that relationship.”
*Statistics represent Fort Collins Rescue Mission’s Fiscal Year July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019