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Denver Rescue Mission

Denver, Rescue Missions, video

Denver Rescue Mission

No Comments 10 October 2010

When I heard about the Competitor Group bringing their Rock ‘n’ Roll race series to Denver for the Inaugural Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon I was excited….for many reasons.  To start with, my Father-in-Law lives in Denver and my Sister-in-Law and her husband live in Boulder, instant volunteers!  More than that though, I had heard great things about the Denver Rescue Mission and was now going to have the opportunity to work with them.

The Denver Rescue Mission meets people at their physical and spiritual points of need with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.  The Denver Rescue Mission operates five facilities throughout Metro Denver and Northern Colorado. Their goal has been the same for the past 118 years – to serve the needs of the poor and homeless through emergency services, rehabilitation, transitional and permanent housing, and community outreach.  Last year, the Denver Rescue Mission served 659,854 meals, provided 171,480 nights of shelter, provided 185 tons of clothing, and placed 253 families into permanent housing. The team from the mission shared some alarming facts with me:

On any given night, there are 11,061 homeless men, women and children in Metro Denver.  Of the over 11,061 homeless people in the Denver metro area, approximately:

• 46.5% are people in households with children

• 26.8% are children and teens

• 13.0% are veterans

• 44.5% are experiencing their first episode of homelessness

• 4.5%  are chronically homeless

When survey respondents were asked to indicate “all that apply” regarding reasons for their homelessness, the following were the top 10 reasons listed:

- Lost job 34.7%

- High housing costs (rent or mortgage) 31.2%

- Alcohol or substance abuse 29.5%

- Relationship or family breakup 19.1%

- Mental Illness 16.2%

- Eviction/Foreclosure 12.6%

- Illness 10.5%

- Domestic violence 9.9%

- Discharged from jail 8.0%

- Legal 8%

As I sit in the comforts of  my own home and type this post my heart breaks from a couple of these numbers really standing out.  The fact that roughly 47% are households with children and that 45% are experiencing their first episode of homeless is tragic. Obviously lack of finances or the loss of employment have played a large role in why many have found themselves in this situation.  This is all more the reason we need to collect as many pairs of shoes as possible.  By doing so we can lessen the burden of the mother whose children need shoes because their feet are growing so fast the shoes they have don’t fit. We can ease the pain of a father who is out of work and has to decide how to spend what money he has on either food or shoes for his family.  We can help those who know that winter is only days away along with the freezing cold.  Shoes for these people can mean survival.

Whether you are running the marathon or not, chances are you have shoes you can donate.  Make it this weekend and come donate them to us here.  Let’s make this inaugural race event one to remember not only because it takes place in one of the most beautiful locations in the country but because Denver came together and gave it their best, they gave it their hearts and they gave their shoes!


Humble Legend

No Comments 08 June 2009


Me with Olympic Gold Medalist, Frank Shorter

Me with Olympic Gold Medalist, Frank Shorter

The incredible thing about attending the expo before race day is not all the cool new gear you can buy or all the freebies you can cram into your expo bag.  It’s the experience to see and interact with running legends in an environment they thrive in.  To know as much as they do in the field they have lived and breathed for years makes them EXPERTS and many times FAMOUS.  Some people would let all that go to their head….not Frank Shorter.  

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Shorter at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.  Here is a man who put running on the map in the 70′s; a Yale grad with too many accomplishments to list.  He is best known for winning the gold in the Marathon at the 1972 Munich Olympics. After being inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and running for the better part of his life you think the last thing he would want to do is talk about running to a complete stranger.  

Mr. Shorter and I not only talked a little about running but more about children in sports. His idea of letting children gravitate to the sport they prefer on their own is one that many parents need to get on board with, especially in this day and age.  Having two sons of my own I have to agree with him. This quote from Mr. Shorter says it best, “When you are caring about your children perhaps you always have to remember at what point you can become over involved because of something you need rather than something the child needs.”  

No doubt about it, Frank Shorter is a legend and a man of humility.  Thank you for your time Mr. Shorter.

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