I am pleased to share some GOOD NEWS about our developing new and improved Pueblo Rescue Mission! As the current Director, hired November 2018, I feel it is extremely important to share some recent history, as well as bringing you current information on new operational developments. I feel that these details are extremely important to share with those of you who have supported the Pueblo Rescue Mission for so many years. I hope my communication will answer your questions and instill the confidence and enthusiasm for our mission that stirred your humanitarian spirit that has encouraged and carried us forward for the last 40 years.
As you know, the Pueblo Rescue Mission has served the homeless of Pueblo since 1976. For many years the shelter was overseen by the founder, Rev Thomas Bond, and relied totally on financial donations. Sadly, in 2016 the PRM Board determined that the reliance on charitable donations was not adequate to sustain shelter operations. At that time, the Board of Directors requested that the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission (CSRM) step in and take over the day-to-day shelter operations and oversight of the PRM, at which time they appointed a PRM CEO.
On June 1, 2017, under the management of CSRM, plans were made to renovate the property on W. 4th Street which closed down shelter operations. In the late summer of 2017, a demolition project began and continued for several months. The cost for the demolition was recorded at $215,000.00. In October 2017, the CSRM determined that it was not feasible to complete the project due to funding issues and the building was left, partially demolished and unusable.
On January 1, 2018, a temporary warming shelter was opened at 520 W. 13th Street with the assistance of a special ordinance from the Pueblo City Council. The warming shelter operated from January 1, 2018 through May 31, 2018 until the special use ordinance was rescinded by the City of Pueblo. At that time all employees, except for the PRM CEO were laid off. The PRM CEO worked for several months to find a permanent location for a warming shelter, however, no feasible sites were found.
Then, on November 7, 2018, the PRM CEO, along with the board members from the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission, advised the four local board members for the Pueblo Rescue Mission, that the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission was officially terminating its day-to-day operations and oversight of the Pueblo Rescue Mission.
By November 12, 2018, a NEW locally operated Pueblo Rescue Mission Team was established to work with the Pueblo community to provide a professionally and locally operated program to meet the needs of the homeless adults in our community. A new Director was hired, supported by an enthusiastic 4-member board of directors. In December 2018, the NEW PRM partnered with the City of Pueblo to operate an emergency warming shelter on 9th Street. During the months of November and December, PRM was able to initiate a multi-level funding approach to raise operation funds, seek grant resources, fulfill previous grant guidelines and negotiate a fee for service contract with the City of Pueblo to operate the emergency warming shelter on 9th Street. The City of Pueblo provided $257,000.00 which included $181,202 for rent of a warehouse for use as a temporary warming shelter, operational costs and security. Of that same amount, $75,798.00 was paid to PRM to run the emergency warming shelter for that five-month period.
PRM operated the temporary emergency warming shelter from December 15, 2018 through April 30, 2019. During this period, PRM provided 10,235 shelter nights to 578 unduplicated individuals and assisted 31 individuals to move into some form of an independent living environment (suitable housing).
After closure of the temporary emergency warming shelter, I, along with several volunteers, have continued a community outreach program to our homeless friends. The community outreach programs include services that provides basic needs to individuals living in camps and on the streets of Pueblo. PRM also provides a weekly clothing bank. In addition, the PRM “Gratitude Project” enlists homeless individuals who provide clean-up services for the City of Pueblo Parks Department on a weekly basis.
The future of the New Pueblo Rescue Mission begins soon!
The mission of the NEW PRM Team was to secure a location for a permanent shelter. The Team determined that the best location was to go “home” to 728 West 4th Street where the shelter began over 40 years ago. In June 2019, with the assistance of the City and County of Pueblo and the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the NEW Pueblo Rescue Mission secured a “one-time” construction grant to renovate the building. The renovation is scheduled to begin August 19, 2019 with a completion date by Mid- December 2019. The NEW PRM will provide access to the following services: 1) Transitional Shelter, 2) Daily Community Evening Meal for the needy (adults, families and children) 3) Navigation Resource Center. The NEW PRM will be working with homeless adults and numerous local agencies, helping the homeless to improve their situation.
On behalf of the board of directors and the New PRM Team, we felt that it was imperative to share this important information with you, our faithful supporters and donors, to know that the Pueblo Rescue Mission is alive and thriving, moving forward to provide professional, financially stable programs for the homeless in the Pueblo community.
We are asking for your consideration to help us move this vision forward. While the construction costs are secured by the State of Colorado, we seek your help to support the daily shelter operations. It is our hope that by keeping you current and informed, you will have the confidence in our organization and feel compelled to renew your support for the NEW Pueblo Rescue Mission as we continue to assist God’s children who are homeless.
Please join the New Pueblo Rescue Mission in this journey to see lives transformed and filled with hope, as our community works together to fight poverty, homelessness and addiction.
The NEW Pueblo Rescue Mission