In July, Monty celebrated his one-year anniversary of graduating the New Life Program ...
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Psalm 9:18 (NIV)
“We didn’t know much about the Mission before all this happened,” Alice and Joe say together, describing how their son went from a successful career to nearly killing himself through alcohol abuse. “It was terrible,” Alice says. Their son, Monty, is 54 years old and says he was lucky to have the support of his family. “So many of the guys at the Farm either don’t have parents or have bad parents,” he explains. “Having my family behind me was huge.”
His career in the restaurant business started when he was just 15 years old. He worked through college, became a bartender and was a manager at a popular sports bar in Denver. But working at a bar meant alcohol was constantly in his life. “It built a foundation that drinking is just what you do, whether you’re having fun or not,” he explains.
Eventually, his life began to spiral out of control.
“I started drinking so much that I didn’t care about my relationships, my job or my family,” he explains. In a short period of time, he got a DUI, his girlfriend left him and he lost his job and house. Before long, he was locking himself in his apartment with a bottle of alcohol, unsure how to end the cycle of destruction. “We had to take him to detox twice,” his mother remembers.
Finally, Monty came to a point of desperation. With his lease running out and his probation officer demanding that he find a program to join, he reached out for help.
Unfortunately, the first place he found wasn’t a good fit. “I tried a 30-day program at a rehab facility, but it was too quick. I was drinking the day I got out,” he admits. He continued searching and eventually found Denver Rescue Mission’s Harvest Farm.
However, with only 72 beds at the Farm, there’s not always an opening for someone to join the New Life Program immediately. In fact, it would be three months before space would be available for him. Desperate, he returned to the rehab facility. “I was there for two more months,” he says. “It was terrible. I couldn’t talk to anyone. It almost felt like a jail.” When his parents were finally allowed to see him, they all agreed he needed a better solution.
Alice called the Mission to see if Monty could join the New Life Program at Harvest Farm a month earlier than expected, and there was an opening! “It was a relief to drop him off at the Farm,” Alice says. “It was sad, but it was great.”
As he expected, Monty liked the Farm from the moment they pulled into the dusty driveway just off I-25 in Wellington. “It’s always tomorrow that you’ll get better,” he says, “but tomorrow never comes. But when you’re at the Farm, you have tomorrow to do it, and you have today.”
Monty liked the Christian foundation of the New Life Program, and the Bible studies, work therapy and church on Sundays helped establish a routine that had been absent from his life for a long time. He was able to be honest with himself and found solace in speaking with a counselor about his past. “It was a relief to get off my chest how destructive my addiction had been,” he says. “I really liked the Farm. Everyone there treated you like they were on your side instead of just waiting for you to mess up.”
In July, he celebrated his one-year anniversary of graduating the New Life Program, and today, he works at the Horsetooth Retriever Kennel a few miles away from the Farm. He enjoys working with the black labs, training them for competitions that test their skills as hunting dogs. His bosses, Kenny and Marcy, have hired men from the Farm to work at the kennel for 15 years.
“It’s a great job—probably the best I’ve had,” Monty says. “My boss is great, and the dogs always like seeing me. That’s always rewarding. I go back to the Farm sometimes to visit.”
But Monty’s life wasn’t the only thing changed because of Harvest Farm. Thanks to this experience, Joe and Alice have a new outlook on what it means to help those in need. “It changes your perspective,” Alice explains. “When I see someone on the street, I realize how close Monty came to being in that situation. Before, I would think things like, ‘Why can’t they do something to help themselves?’ But I look at it in a totally diff erent light now. These people need somebody to help them.” Joe went on to explain why they continue to support the Mission; “You get things in the mail every day, but when it starts aff ecting you, that’s when it starts to open your eyes,” he says. “It’s easy to wonder what makes one organization more deserving than another, and we see why now because we were affected by it. Thank goodness he went to the Farm. It fit just right.”
Thank you for supporting the life-changing work at Denver Rescue Mission. Because of supporters like Joe, Alice and you, people struggling with poverty, addiction and homelessness are able to work through their hurts, hang-ups and hardships to build a better future. Whether it’s through Harvest Farm or at our other locations in Denver, you help change lives every day when you donate and volunteer to help the broken and hurting.