Tag: denver drop in center

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For a decade, Doyle Robinson has offered help to homeless kids at Sox Place, a sprawling room in downtown Denver that is equal parts retreat, counseling center and raucous family den.
And it all began with Robinson handing out free socks from a plastic bag — plus respect and kindness from deep in his heart — to street kids most folks treated as pariahs.
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From the darkness of his troubled adolescence in Arkansas, Doyle Robinson found the light: He would draw upon his own pain to help troubled teens. From his early days handing out tube socks to homeless kids on the 16th Street Mall, Robinson’s vision has grown to include Sox Place, a converted downtown auto shop that’s now Denver’s only daytime drop-in youth center, where kids can find a warm bowl of soup, a quiet place to crash, easy camaraderie and the occasional punk concert. And if they’re seeking spiritual guidance, Robinson — an ordained minister with the Assembly of God — can offer that, too. But he prefers action to words, showing the power of faith rather than preaching it.

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Doyle, who was born in Texas and grew up in Arkansas, moved to Denver from Springfield, MO, then spent 3 1/2 years doing outreach on the 16th Street Mall before opening up Sox Place along with Jordan in May 2002. Doyle has been working with youth for almost 40 years in various surroundings and from all walks of life. His passion is to reach those who are lost, those who are not wanted, those who have been cast aside, and love those who are unloved.
Doyle believes in making a difference where you are, to those God brings into your path. He feels that to do nothing for those around him, with all that God has given him, is to fail miserably in life. Doyle would like people to say at his funeral: “Doyle added value to people around him.”

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In 2002, Jordan was talking with his dad, Doyle, about him wanting to open a drop-in center for the kids on the streets in Denver he had been reaching for over three years. Jordan felt compelled to help, so he made the move from Arkansas to Denver. After Sox Place opened, he worked there for around 3 1/2 years before moving on to other fields of work. Jordan is happy to be back in this wonderful ministry in 2011.
  • What are your five favorite songs of all time? – “Wagon Wheel,” “Wayward Son,” “Amazing Grace,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “O.M.G. (Jesus Wept)”
  • What is a book you recently read and a quote or lesson learned from it? – The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: “Now is the time to think of only one thing. That which I was born for.”
  • Who is your favorite fictional character?– The Punisher
  • What chore do you absolutely hate doing?– Laundry
  • What is your favorite summertime treat?– Route 66 Cherry Limeade
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Realize This…
Piercings, tattoos, nothing we would find right
Ripped clothes, torn skin, surrounded by desires to fight
Cement floors, painted walls, a place many call home
Warmth, and food some things they’ve never known

People who care, giving everything they can
Giving hope to the doubtful and to the lost they lend a hand.
Asking only respect and for an open ear and heart
Help those in need, helping put together the lost parts

We are quick to judge and close our eyes to those here
Many ignore those in need, pushing them away, instead of bringing them near
We step in the door expecting a place of white and pews
We see the opposite, not looking from others point of view

These teens here see us and do not judge by our clothes or money
They look not at our outward appearance, yet many look at them as funny
How do we live in so much hate, so much pain we cause Tearing down the weak, looking only at people’s flaws

Would you ever think that this place is where many teens go?
Do you realize that there is so much about these teens, we don’t know
When you step in the entrance, drop everything you think is so wrong
Many don’t have parents, or hope, but these teens have held on for so long.

This place changes lives and helps the lost and the weak
It gives so many a second chance, yet in their lives, we only get a peek
Talk to one of them, you’ll be surprised how many have something to say
Just realize these teens are so thankful for many things we have every day.

It’s changed my life; it showed me everything I’d never expect to see
It gave me so much in only a few hours, and I hope God hears their plea
Day after day, so many pains and troubles these teens go through
And from this amazing place I soon realize that there is so much I never knew.

Inspired by Sox Place
Thanks for everything
Jessica R. Calhoon
February 21, 2004

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