Sox Place is a drop in center for street kids that provides a safe haven for them to call home. But it’s not just a drop in center, it’s a church. Doyle and the supporters of Sox Place are dedicated to changing lives one relationship at a time in the heart of Denver. Surrounded by prostitution, heroine use, and meth addiction Doyle dives into the mess of people’s lives and loves them where they are at.
Imagine being 16, 17, or 18 and living on the streets. CNN catches up with some of Denver’s homeless youth to find out what it’s like. It is a story of survival and hope. Most of them have found a home through Sox Place. Even though they face more struggles than most, they have not let their dreams die.
Sox Place is what it is today because of the dedication of a handful of people to love people where they are at. They have earned the right to speak into the lives of the people who come through their doors because of the relationships they build with them. Josh Robinson–the day time drop-in director–says this about his faith, “Us wanting to share our faith is kind-of innate in who we are. That is much better served by not preaching at people. We are able to share our faith because kids trust us.”
After living in Manhattan, seeing a homeless person becomes as normal as hailing a taxicab or going to a Yankees game. While most of us walk by, going about our daily routine, or snarl and roll our eyes at what we presume is the drug addict or alcoholic, have you ever actually stopped and asked them what their story is? That is exactly what Doyle Robinson does everyday in Denver, Colorado.
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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.
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