Feed My Sheep Ministry is celebrating our tenth year with the homeless and less fortunate in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are the only homeless center from Denver to Grand Junction. We are an asset to the city of Glenwood Springs because we keep the homeless clean and groomed and encourage them to stay out of the main corridor. Initial contacts with the homeless were made at a local soup kitchen, which served to establish relationships with them as well as to provide services such as referrals, transportation to medical appointments and offering help with job resumes. Through this initial work with the homeless, it became apparent that other services were needed. From observing the homeless at the soup kitchen, it was apparent they were isolated. They would come in and eat then leave with no interaction. They had no place to call home, no place to get a hot shower, do laundry, call family or get out of the cold. They felt like no one cared and no one trusted them.
In 2004, we rented a room at a local motel and offered the homeless a place to get a hot breakfast and take showers. After two years we were able to rent the basement in the Catholic Church building. The space needed some tender loving care and the men, women and many volunteers jumped in to put in two bathrooms, cabinets, painted, new floors and furniture. Finally, a place they can call home. We are committed to give the homeless a hand up not a hand out. We offer love, compassion, encouragement and an opportunity to be a part of a family.
Our accomplishments over the years have included sending 28 men and women to rehabilitation programs and all but five have been successful. We seek permanent housing for many especially the older ones, so far 26 guests have received housing. Our work with guests includes filling out forms for Food Stamps, Old Age Pension, Colorado Indigent Care, hospital forms and job applications. We help obtain ID’s, birth certificates, a must when looking for employment. In 2009, we received an award from the Housing Authority for providing housing to the less fortunate. Community awareness is very important to us because it is an issue throughout this whole country.
Unlike other Homeless Shelters we take alcoholics, they can come to us drunk because that is when they might possibly freeze to death or get hit by a car. But they are not to drink on the property or in the shelter. When we have a man or woman under the influence we get them in the Center, get food in their stomachs, a shower, clean clothes and electrolytes to help sober them up. Usually in a few hours the effect of alcoholism fades. We believe in working with our family to create a positive, loving community and a sense of caring for each other. We are the only agency in our area that is committed to meeting the long term daily needs of the homeless and this is why we feel we are unique.
To offer services that help the homeless survive
- Providing food, hot showers, laundry, communication services, storage and love.
- The Winter Overnight Program is supervised by staff and it is a place for the homeless to feel safe and be warm.
To provide the homeless with resources
- Access needed resources such as housing, medical and dental care, Social Security, human services, Veteran’s Administration, mental health issues and education in computers.
- Provide case management services for planning and referrals.
To allow all people, regardless of past or current history, culture, religion, color, to utilize the center as long as they maintain a safe place in which to interact.
To promote a sense of connectedness to each other, a sense of family and community.
- Provide an accepting and loving place where each person is treated with respect.
- Allowing the homeless to utilize the Day Center on a long-term basis.