Neighbors helping neighbors – the Springs Rescue Mission (SRM) provides food, shelter, support and most importantly, ‘hope’, to neighbors in the Pikes Peak Region that need it most. SRM’s services range from life-sustaining aid to rehabilitative housing and job training, all with the goal of promoting transformation and empowering a path out of homelessness. After opening a small winter shelter in 2013, SRM launched a “Community of Hope” campaign which raised funds for a new resource campus which would expand available beds from 37 to 450 – the largest in Southern Colorado.
Inspiring a deep sense of dignity and hope for our neighbors in need, Nunn Construction built the new resource center and year-round shelter in 2016, focusing on the men and women in our community that need these spaces to survive. The opening of the year round, low-barrier shelter in November 2016 was a stabilizing force in helping those who have lived on the streets for years, once again, become vital members of society.
The first of its kind in El Paso County, the unified campus brings all required services into one location serving 270-300 people daily and provides triple the amount of sleeping spaces that were available in the past. It has been an honor to work alongside such a passionate non-profit organization and reminds us how truly gratifying it is to build projects that matter to our community.
Creating a New Future
A strong community is supported by people who give their time, expertise, and resources to projects that make an impact. For over three decades, Nunn Construction has worked alongside non-profit organizations to maximize their contribution to communities across Colorado – Springs Rescue Mission was no exception.
Nunn Construction successfully encouraged multiple subcontractors to donate a portion of their services to the project. We also worked with SRM’s New Life Program, a 12-month residential addiction recovery program, recruiting graduates who became Nunn Construction employees and helped build SRM’s new campus expansion.
Kevin Davis dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and went to work in the drilling business. Two children later, the rigs went down, and Kevin lost his job and sense of hope. Kevin began living on the streets, struggling with addition. Finally, his daughter had enough and pleaded with him to become the father she needed him to be.
Kevin then found the Springs Rescue Mission and graduated in July 2016 from the New Life Program. The next day, Kevin applied for a job with Nunn Construction. Upon meeting with our Project Superintendent, he was hired to help construct the new campus expansion. “He’s running guys, running equipment for us, he’s a good teammate” said his supervisor. Kevin Davis’s story, from a participant in SRM’s rehabilitation program to a Nunn Construction employee, is proof of the positive impact on our community the Springs Rescue Mission helps provide.
Having a Heart for the Mission
Nunn Construction worked closely with Springs Rescue Mission and the City of Colorado Springs to price and add scope into the project as additional funding was secured all through a transparent, open book process. All savings realized at the end of the project were returned to Springs Rescue Mission to further their mission as an organization. Beyond the construction of the campus in-fill and renovation, Nunn Construction donated time and money to support the Springs Rescue Mission. Nunn was a major sponsor for multiple SRM Golf Tournaments, provided care packages to the homeless upon opening of the resource center, and over twenty Nunn Construction and RTA Architect employees volunteered on a Saturday morning to build 158 bunk beds before the shelter opened its doors.
“As our partnership on our campus expansion comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how thankful I have been to work with you these past few years. Your heart for the community – and for our work – is amazing. I am thankful to call you friends…” wrote Stu Davis, who was the former Community Relations Director at Springs Rescue Mission upon completion of the project.
Impact on the Community
Colorado’s homeless population jumped 13% from 2015-2016, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, creating a need, greater than ever, for low-barrier shelters providing pathways out of homelessness at that time. In Colorado Springs, redevelopment began the same summer along the South Nevada corridor, just blocks from the Springs Rescue Mission. Affordable hotels had previously lined the South Nevada corridor, providing rooms for folks who struggled to find permanent housing. As the hotels were torn down, folks continuously turned to the Springs Rescue Mission for help. Being a low-barrier shelter, Springs Rescue Mission accepts people as they are and provides a safe, warm place of shelter for those who may have no other option.
The opening of the year-round shelter in November 2016 at the start of winter enabled SRM to reach more neighbors in need than ever before. Within the first 60 days, SRM provided more than 10,000 nights of shelter. That was more nights of shelter than they were able to provide in the entire 2016 fiscal year. They also provided more than 240 nights of shelter for the homeless community’s pets, which had not been previously possible.
The Resource Center provides showers, a communal gathering space, computer access, laundry facilities, and permanent office space for partner agencies. The Mission partners with over nine different agencies that use the office space in the resource center to provide health, dental, workforce, human services, among many others that the homeless previously walked, on average, five miles across town to obtain. The 16 new showers improved overall health conditions at the non-profit’s always-packed shelter.
Throughout the new facilities, elements of renewal and restoration were incorporated, portraying characteristics of new life and hope. A prominent design feature, salvaged bowling alley wood was revitalized as countertops, and were re-finished by Nunn Construction’s craftsmen. Beautiful wood trellis’s hang in the entrances of the shelter and resource center, built using reclaimed wood from both the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. Those fires were pivotal moments when our community came together, and the shelter remains a beacon of that hope.
From Humble Beginnings to Future Growth
The founders of Springs Rescue Mission began providing sandwiches to the homeless of Colorado Springs in 1996. Those beginnings rapidly grew into a wide range of programs intended to serve the 27,000 households living below the poverty line in the Pikes Peak region. Today, SRM maintains a Four Star “Exceptional Charity” rating with Charity Navigator, and their unique offering of relief and rehabilitation programs is a recognized and invaluable part of the Colorado Springs Community.
The opening of their year-round, low-barrier shelter and resource center in 2016 provided services far beyond their intended use and set the stage for future projects for the organization such as Greenway Flats, the Samaritan’s Kitchen & Dining Hall and a new Welcome Center among other community partnerships with Peak Vista Community Health Center. We’re grateful to the Springs Rescue Mission for their unwavering support and advocacy for those in our community who could use a helping hand and encouragement toward forging a more stable future. If you’d like to donate, sponsor a bed or volunteer at the Springs Rescue Mission visit: https://www.springsrescuemission.org/gss.