"His Urban Presence" Community Outreach Center
Organized by: Edwin Aldrich
His Urban Presence has been working with the poor, homeless, and addicted in Colorado Springs for the last 6 years. We have been involved in working with the Springs Rescue Mission, RJ Montgomery Center, the Catholic Charities, and many others. Over the years, we have come to see many needs that are not being met for those in the community and have developed a plan for a holistic approach to working with homelessness, addiction, and poverty. Recently we have discovered that a church building is for sale in the neighborhood that we have identified as one of the most needy in Colorado Springs and this building would be perfect for our needs. It includes over 40 thousand square feet of space and has facilities like a commercial kitchen already in place. We feel that God is asking us to step out in faith and ask the community to help us in funding an alternative to Colorado Springs growing problem of homelessness, drug addiction, and poverty. So lets look at our plan to make a difference:
1) Physical needs first - When you are consumed by finding a safe place to sleep and enough food to eat, it is difficult to focus on anything else. By providing temporary housing, food, and clothing for residents, they are then able to focus on finding and keeping employment.
2) Address barriers to employment - Work to address educational limitations, lack of transportation, lack of identification, and other barriers that make finding gainful employment difficult.
3) Address destructive behavior patterns - addictions come in many forms, bad behaviors can become a self perpetuating cycle that, unless addressed through counseling and treatment, will lead right back into homelessness.
4) Give them a chance to get ahead - When you are on the street, or living in a hotel, you are literally living from hand to mouth. What you make today sustains you only just barely for the day. You never get a chance to get ahead financially. Once persons are employed, they pay into a savings account that will help them to transition to permanent housing later.
5) Work with the chronically homeless. We have and will continue to work to help those with disabilities get the benefits and treatment they need. From developing pain management strategies to helping people sign up for mental health services. In some cases, it is simply a matter of not knowing what services are available to them or how to apply for them.
6) Take preventative steps when possible. After school tutoring and mentor-ship programs for underprivileged or high risk youth to help them finish school. Resume writing, English, and other adult classes offered to the community at no charge to help them to better their own lives.
7) Keep them alive and keep giving them chances. We believe in second chances, and third, and fourth, and so on. Residents may be excused from the facility for behavioral issues but will be allowed to return after a specified time. A cold weather shelter is planned also, and residents who have been excused can utilize the cold weather shelter even during a dismissal period.
8) One location servicing all needs - Many shelters send their residents out during the day, we want them diligently employed either volunteering, learning, or looking for work. All residents will be required to work chores around the facility, attend classes and treatment sessions in accordance with their individual action plans, and will be strongly encouraged to use their free time to do things like send out resumes and search for jobs in the computer lab.
This particular church building may not be available for long, and there are not a lot of buildings that are as uniquely suited to provide the things that this building can. We have identified the following areas of the building that could be used for each of the following purposes: - Men's Residence Hall - Women's Residence Hall - Family Residence Hall - Overseer/Caretaker residence - Commercial Kitchen and Dining area for 200 - Computer Lab - Cold weather shelter/Library/chapel - Educational classrooms - Food/Clothing Pantry - Community Recreation Areas For more information about our ministry and philosophy of ministry, visit www.HISURBANPRESENCE.org
$3,000,000 seems like a lot of money, Bot God is a big God, He wants us to ask, ans risk, and do big things for Him. Right now, we are just looking at funding the purchase of the building and the set up and operation costs for the first year. I know God can do this miracle and I am asking anyone from Colorado Springs to join in and be part of this.
His Urban Presence