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Mission and History

Mission Statement

Denver Rescue Mission is changing lives in the name of Christ by meeting people at their physical and spiritual points of need, with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.


Denver Rescue Mission is the oldest, full-service Christian charity in the Rocky Mountain region. Thriving today as non-denominational organization, no one is denied services because of gender, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, handicap, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, or marital, parental or military status.

From Rescue Home to Sunshine Mission

In its first incarnation, Denver Rescue Mission began as a “Rescue Home” for women. This home, founded in 1892 by Rev. Joshua Gravett of the Galilee Baptist Church, was located near 31st and Lawrence Street. Later that year, the Rescue Home merged with the Florence Crittendon Mission and Home for Women. Reverend Gravett and his parish also had a vision for a men’s shelter, and opened the Living Waters Mission at 1822 Larimer Street as a faith ministry.

Approximately 20 years later, under the leadership of Jim Goodheart, a former Living Waters client, the Mission’s name was changed to the Sunshine Rescue Mission and expanded
to three buildings and two lots from 1820 to 1824 Larimer Street. A dormitory for transients called “Sunshine House” was also opened at 1640 Market Street at this time. The Sunshine Rescue Mission was then sold to Goodheart in 1927, and following his hospitalization, was closed and sold to pay debts in 1930.

The Denver Rescue Mission Re-Birth

Soon after the closing of the Sunshine Mission, Rev. Gravett and a dedicated group of volunteers founded Denver Rescue Mission, located on 1120 Eighteenth Street. The Mission continued to expand following the purchase of a one-story building on 1818 Larimer Street in 1940, as well as the construction of a new building 19 years later. The following year, the Mission opened its first medical and dental clinics. In 1970, the Denver Rescue Mission sold its Larimer Street facility in order to purchase our current facility, the Lawrence Street Shelter.

Expanding To Provide for Men

In 1988, the Mission acquired the former Mercy Farm in Wellington. Colorado. Renamed Harvest Farm, the 209-acre farm grows food crops for the needy, provides long-term rehabilitation for 72 men in the New Life Program and serves as a rural outreach.

Expanding to Provide for Single Mothers and Their Children

The Mission also expanded to include Champa House after the Foothill Capital Corporation of Dallas donated the building in 1988. After intense renovation, this facility, located at 2544 Champa Street, now offers transitional housing and participation in the New Life Program to nine single mothers and their children.

Expanding to Provide Administrative and Program Support, Food, Clothing, and Furniture

The Mission’s administrative home and Ministry Outreach Center was donated in 1991 by Cowles Media. This 37,000 square foot building also served as the central warehouse for food, clothing and furniture for the needy. On January 1st, 2001, Brad Meuli became President and Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of the Mission. His servant heart guides his remarkable leadership of the Mission as it grows and expands.

Expanding to Provide More Transitional Programs

In 2005, the Mission purchased a former hotel on Smith Road and named it “The Crossing.” This outreach currently provides a transitional program for approximately 500 participants in our New Life, Post-Graduate, STAR and Respite programs.  

Expanding to Provide More Overnight Shelter

In 2005, renovations to the Mission’s Lawrence Street Shelter were also completed. Overnight shelter capacity was increased to 200 beds and 100 additional cots during inclement weather.

Family Services Programs

In November 2005, the Mission developed a Family Services Program to incorporate the three programs now run through this outreach: Family Rescue Ministry (FRM), STAR Transitional Program and Family Refugee Services (FRS).

Expanding to Provide Life-skills Education and Career Centers

In 2007, the Mission renamed its inaugural computer-based Literacy and Education Center (LEC) to its current Lifeskills, Education and Career Centers. This program assists residents at The Crossing, Champa House and Harvest Farm with academic, career and practical life skills.

Expanding to Fort Collins and moving Ministry Outreach Center

In November 2012, the Mission acquired Open Door Mission in Fort Collins, just nine miles from Harvest Farm. The name changed to Fort Collins Rescue Mission (FCRM) and is considered another site of Denver Rescue Mission. FCRM now provides bed for up to 75 homeless men and women. Steps to Success is a short-term program offered to help people become productive, self-sufficient citizens. At the same time, the Mission was looking to purchase property for a new location for the Ministry Outreach Center and the Administrative Offices. A warehouse on Holly Street was purchased in December 2012, which provided 15,000 more square feet than the previous warehouse. The Mission purchased Pilgrim's Rest Church as well in October 2012 to serve as a new site for the Administrative Offices. The property is located directly across the street from The Crossing and provides a campus-style environment for the Mission.

Denver Rescue Mission

6100 Smith Road
Denver, CO 80216
Telephone: 303.297.1815
Fax: 303.295.1566
e-Mail: info@denrescue.org