Tag: at risk youth denver

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Sox Place Resolution Guide

Have you made your New Years Resolution yet?  The first week of January has already spun by, can you believe it?  That may mean that you’ve already abandoned those resolutions, or you’re attempting to navigate them the best you can.  I didn’t get around to making a list before January 1st but instead I have spent this week trying to figure out what I want to accomplish this year.  Should I take up a new hobby, or maybe just try to be better at managing the time I have to focus on the responsibilities I already have?

As a young adult in todays’s world it seems that my attention is being fought for and pulled in every which direction. I remember as a kid hearing adults talk about the days coming and going faster than the year before, but I didn’t understand.  As a kid days feel like they take forever to pass. Just the thought of waiting for Christmas to come again seems like it will take a lifetime when you’re a child.  When you’re an adult, it’s easy to consider leaving the lights up because you know the Holidays will be here again in a blink of an eye.

As I enter into the new year I have realized it’s important is to imagine who you want to be, imagine the life you want.  What do you want your relationships look like? With your kids, with your spouse, with you friends.  What does going to work life feel like?  Imagine.  Here are some goals and resolutions that I have come up with, as a servant of Christ with a heart for his work.

  1. Be Willing to Wait. Sometimes I feel like my prayers fall on deaf ears, or maybe God is simply ignoring me.  When I dive into scripture I realize that God can and always will hear my questions, my pleas and cries. I also realize that sometimes he calls his people to wait. When I want things to happen right now, sometimes God is calling for me to be patient.  I’m not the first one he has asked to wait on Him. He kept Moses in a desert for 40 years!  So my first resolution is really to draw near, be faithful to my Father, and be willing to wait on his plan, and not depend on my own.
  2. Be Kind to Yourself.  We’re already surrounded by so much negativity. The news, the neighbors, the grumpy guy next to your cubicle. Take the first step and treat yourself kindly. Realize who you are, discover who God says you are, and begin to kick those negative thoughts.  When we love ourselves, we can to begin to love others better. Which brings me to my next resolution.
  3. Be Kind to Others.  My mission is to bring Christ’s mission to those that are hungry, broken, and tired.  Which is why I find myself at Sox Place on a weekly basis. These kids are not being reached by church on Sundays, but they are on our doorstep every week.  Hungry, broken, and tired. I need to remember that I am here to spread the love of Jesus and not for any other reason.  Sox Place is not about me, it’s not about Doyle or Jordan, it’s about Jesus.
  4. Slow Down.  As mentioned in resolution number one, life can feel like it is spinning by so fast, and sometimes it feels like I can’t get a grasp on my life.  My resolution is to find time in my day to slow down and enjoy what’s around me.  Find time in the company of others and laugh.  Or seek solitude by sipping on your favorite cup of tea and dive into a coloring book or a hobby that you really enjoy.
  5. Learn to Accept Love.  Life is harsh, and sometimes we build these walls so high around our hearts we become unable to receive love. We think we’re protecting ourselves. Or maybe we think we’re protecting others. It’s so important for us to realize we’re not the sum of all the bad things we’ve done or of all the bad things that have been done to us. Realize who you are, and be set free from the chains of lies that hold us down and keep us from dreaming.

My resolutions are not just for me and how to live my life, but also how I want to treat others. My ultimate resolution is to help others live this way. Help Sox Place kids learn to accept love and to be kind to themselves and others.  To encourage my readers to slow down and be willing to wait for God to move in your lives. My ultimate resolution is to be a safe person where judgment can’t be found but empathy can.

Comment below, I want to hear what all of you are working on this new year! We love you guys and thank you for supporting Sox Place and all our kids that visit us everyday.

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Being homeless is not about being lazy or relying on “the system.” Being homeless is not about being scummy, smelly, or dirty.  Being homeless is more than just being without a house, because a home is more than a roof over your head. Being homeless is about survival.  It prevents 1.7 million young people in the United States from dreaming, experiencing safety and love on a daily basis.

Often I sit down with Doyle in the morning at Sox Place discussing some of the kids that frequently attend, ideas about getting their stories out and God’s role in this ministry.  When he recalls specific kids and their stories I can see the tapes rolling in his head as he visualizes past encounters.  This time he’s referring to a time when his son Jordan was in grade school.

“The first homeless girl I knew was from Cedar Hill, Texas and went to second grade with Jordan,” Doyle said,  “she would hide under the family car from her abusive dad.”

This is where Merriam Webster’s dictionary definition of a home as “One’s residence” doesn’t quite capture what a home really is.  If home is just a residence, then being homelessness means being only without a residence, and after working with young adults for fourteen years, Doyle sees home, and homelessness as so much more than a dictionary definition.

“A home should be a residence where there is love, provision, protection, boundaries, correction and safety. There are many more homeless youth and young adults than just the ones who are recognized by our government and statistics in the physical sense.”

Ultimately being homeless is about you and me.  It’s our community and those on the streets are our neighbors. So what does it take for you and me to step up and move to make a difference in our communities?

For me it was a one time missions trip to Denver’s Sox Place with a youth group I was involved with a few years back. It set a fire in my soul to make a difference for these kids.

Maybe you don’t know where to start, I urge you to make a trip down here!  See and experience first hand what we do. Ask where you can help. This might be financially, physically, or spiritually.  We are always praying for financial gifts to help keep our heat on and doors open.  When groups or individuals pay us a visit and serve a meal, or donate socks, it means so much to us! Most of all we need to be on your prayer lists. Pray for us, but more importantly pray for our kids. Pray for their survival, pray that they might find freedom, refuge and peace.


Keala

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As we think about our vote in the upcoming presidential election it brings to mind how we choose things and make decisions about who we serve and support.  So my question is this:  how would you vote for Sox Place? The snow and wind is coming to downtown Denver with our street youth out there in the cold! It is predicted to be a record snowfall this year and these kids need your help. Your vote for Sox Place and the hundreds we serve each week saves lives and provides support to the street youth like no other place in Denver.
Will you vote for a hot meal, clothes, crisis intervention, and love for those that come every day to Sox Place? Will you vote to keep it open for those that need it most, like locals Danny, G, X, Anchors, Sunshine, Ashley, Marcus, little ones like Deliah, travelers like Scruffy, Scott, Toughy, and Kat? What is the value of Sox Place? It’s the value of the 150,000+ we’ve served in our 13 1/2 year existence!
Right now we need to be able pay for December rent – $4300. God has always supplied through faithful generous people like you, giving to Sox Place. We need your generosity now! I’m asking for people to vote for Sox Place by donating to the mission in the next 2 weeks by providing funding for rent, meals and services to the youth.  We pray for abundance to provide for these kids in this season!  Thank you!
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There’s not many places I like to be without my camera. Maybe that’s because my Dad always had a camera in his hands, always snapping pictures, trying to be the invisible fly one the wall, but at six-foot-seven-inches, being invisible is pretty close to impossible.  He taught me how to hold my camera, focus, point, click, and capture.  Overtime I grew attached to my camera, because I too loved feeling like a fly on the wall.

Still a bit nervous and feeling like the “new girl” interning at Sox Place, it becomes very comfortable for me to whip out my camera and begin snapping and shooting away, capturing emotions and people that fill the four walls that houses Sox Place. These are the people I want to tell others about, these are the faces that are teaching me about life, life that is hard, but life that is worth living.  This week I had my camera out, hiding my face behind the bulky body and capturing life here at Sox Place.

Mellow, one of the frequent visitors began to ask me about my interest in photography.  I don’t claim myself a professional but I was happy to show off some of the action shots I had captured that afternoon. Quickly, Mellow began digging through the pack claiming to have something to show me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but then Mellow whipped out a red package with white polka dots, housing and protecting little printed photographs. I reached out to ask if I could look closer at the photographs.  They were all little moments that were telling a greater story of travel and being unsure about the future.  One photograph was an image of a street sign in New Orleans and on the back it was captioned “Left…or Right?”

It must have been obvious that I was sincerely interested in the photo with the street sign, as Mellow began to speak “You can have one if you would like, take whichever one is your favorite.” I felt my mouth kind of drop and shoot a look that must have begged the question “are you sure?” This small gift, a simple photograph, changed the rest of my week, as I’m sitting here and writing about it!

The people that come to Sox Place don’t have very much.  They have what they need, and what they can carry on their person or back.  Many of them come to Sox Place to get necessities that they have run out of.  Even in their simplicity of living with necessities, Mellow still decided to be giving.  I hope  I never forget that moment, and currently I have the photograph gifted to me, in a special place so that I see it every day.  What a beautiful reminder that even when I feel that I have little, there’s always something to give, big or small, you never know the weight or impact that gift will make in the life of the receiver.

It’s amazing to me that people that have so little, can still be so giving.  Yet there are so many in this world that are well off and comfortable amongst their belongings that won’t give, or only give little. Humbled by Mellow’s gift, I reflect on Luke 21:1-4

Jesus1 looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

 

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If you would like to give to Sox Place, but you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Merch Store! When you buy from us, it helps keep our doors open, and continue to make a difference in lives that need to be shown love, forgiveness, grace.  Plus you get a Sox Place swag. Win Win! We appreciate and love all donations made to Sox Place, comment below if you have any questions!

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Since September of 2012, we have been on a month-to-month lease at our current building at 2017 Larimer St. Our landlord informed us that a bar would be taking over our building sometime in the future, and that time has finally come. Within the next 1-3 months, we will be forced to leave our current building. Right now our only available option is to rent our old building at 2017 Lawrence St. down the street, but the rent at this new building is $1,400 per month more than we can currently afford.

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If only 28 of our supporters were to commit to giving $50 a month to Sox Place, we would be able to continue serving Denver’s homeless and at-risk youth.

If 56 of our supporters were to give only $25 a month, we would be able to continue bringing the Father’s heart to the fatherless.

We are extremely passionate about serving our youth here at Sox Place. There is not another drop-in center like Sox Place in the entire country. We truly believe in what we are doing, and we personally invite you to join us in this journey.

Follow this link to donate below:

DONATE

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Stories from the Street Dustin Website Banner

We have had the privilege of seeing so many of our kid’s lives transformed through the love of the Father that we share with each of them. Dustin, one of our former street youth, shares his story of how Doyle and the staff at Sox Place have helped him exit life on the streets.

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I often ask myself if Sox Place is still needed and a useful place for the street connected youth of downtown Denver, then a day like yesterday (and so many others) happen!

Here’s what a mother said in a recent email to me about Sox Place. Her daughter was on the streets back in 2009 and came to Sox Place often. She has since gotten off the streets and living in the NW. “I thank God for her perseverance daily and for the people like you who sustained her during the terrible times. I hope you and your family are well and please keep loving the unlovable.”

-Doyle

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We know you love eating out.
Why not help homeless youth in the process?

Sox Place’s Food Themed Online Auction begins Thursday, May 30th at 7:00 p.m. (MST).  Don’t miss out!  It only lasts until Friday, June 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Don’t forget to invite all your friends, too!

To participate, create an account here, and get ready to bid beginning on May 30th.  Winners will be contacted by Sox Place to arrange for payment and pick up.

If you would like to see how the auction will work, you can go to the website’s demo auction.

Take a peak at some of our auction items.  We have a variety of restaurant and food related gift cards and one non-food related item (something for the fuzzy members of the family) for you to bid on.  Didn’t get to participate in the last online auction because of where you live?  No worries!  We have both local and chain restaurant gift cards as auction items, so everyone can be a part! We will be adding more before the auction begins, so keep checking back.

Note: Be sure and check the description of each item before bidding, as some items are only for specific locations.

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“You ready?” I asked Ogre.

“Yup,” she replied with a smile on her dirty face.  “I only let myself have one drink this morning so I would be sober while I speak.”  I could tell she was proud of herself.

“Great!  Let’s go!”

We were driving over an hour to introduce some ladies to Sox Place.  Ogre had been coming to Sox Place off-and-on for ten years.  She is a train rider – a traveler – if this was 100 years ago, she’d be called a hobo – a train hopper.  If you’ve never experienced train riders, then, well, let’s just say they are dirty.  They usually have mud and soot on their skin to the point that you don’t know if they are tan or just dirty.  They smell like a mixture of a boy’s high school locker room after football practice and the bottom of a bar’s dumpster after an especially wild Friday night.  And they never wash their clothes because, according to them, the dirt is what is preventing the fabric from completely falling apart.  Ogre was no different, and she knew it.

In addition to being a traveler, Ogre proclaims to be a Christian, and I have no reason to doubt her.  Sure, she has a problem with alcohol and she swears more than a poorly made R-rated action movie.  However, she is constantly trying to live in a way that pleases God, even though she knows she fails in many ways.

So, here we were, on an hour-plus car ride.  Train riders may not be pretty to look at, but they have some of the best stories.  One in particular stood out to me, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it:

Being a good Southern girl, one Sunday Ogre decided she wanted to step into a church to hear “the Word.”  She sat in the back, with her Bible, ready to be fed.  But before the sermon even began, a deacon, in all his suit-and-tie glory, came up to Ogre and asked her to leave because she was “too dirty.”

I’ve heard many-a sermon on accepting people in the church and many-a story about how people aren’t, but to hear such a blatant story of unacceptance blew my mind.  I was angry.  How dare this man – who represented a church, who was supposed to represent Christianity, and, in that way, me, and ultimately represented Christ – show such the opposite of a Christ-like love?  I could begin to feel a hatred for this man, whom I had never met.

As that day – and the days after – wore on, Ogre’s story stayed with me.  I soon realized (with a nudge from the Holy Spirit, I’m sure) that I had no right to hold a grudge against this man.  We all, including me, have Ogres in our lives – those people we’d rather not have in our church.  We may not verbally tell them to leave, but we wish they would.  And we don’t do anything that would make them think otherwise.  Even the disciples had their Ogres.

Think of the Samaritan woman from John 4.  She, also, was a dirty woman.  She was a Samaritan (think Mudblood), a woman (gasp!), and an adulterer (dirty sinner!).  Three strikes of dirtiness.  The disciples knew it and wondered why Jesus was even talking to such a woman (v 27).  But we all know the end of the story.  Because Jesus displayed such compassion toward this woman, the whole town came to him (v 28-30).

Who are the Ogres and Women at the Well in your life?  Who are the ones that deserve to be shown Christ-like love even though it is the last thing you want to do?

The young adult with too many body modifications?

The homosexual couple that holds hands on the back pew?

The parents whose children need some discipline?

The teen who wears too-short skirts?

The middle-aged man who wears a three piece suit and thinks everyone else should too?

The little old lady who always complains about the music?

My Ogre is the guy who tells people to leave because they are too dirty.  I want to say, “If you don’t show Christ’s love to others, then you don’t deserve to feel Christ’s love through me.”

But, of course, that’s not true.  Everyone deserves Christ’s compassionate love.  As with the woman at the well, such love may result in remarkable things for the Kingdom!

-Kara

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