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Relief – Rehabilitation – Development

By | Construction, Uncategorized | No Comments

Relief is a term we think of frequently when we talk about response to a disaster–an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood. This is true. But relief happens every day in ministry to the marginalized of our society. I believe that this is where the Church at large has primarily dwelled in their response to poverty and need. This needs to happen. It is good that it happens. Relieving the immediate suffering, pain or need of an individual must happen to make any progress with that person. It cannot stop there. We need to transition to the next stage of rehabilitation. This is an incremental transition that takes time. It’s not an immediate jump.

Image courtesy of David Christian
(Click photo for link)

Rehabilitation is the process of restoring people to a healthy place in society. Getting them back to a place where they can function in every day society. This term is used with drug and alcohol use, or after a surgery or injury. It seldom has to do with life skills, or even psychological health, but I believe that rehabilitation must be holistic when it comes to ministry–restoring all aspects of a person. This is important for us to remember as we work with our employees. But rehab is again not the end. We must move to development. This is also incremental, tedious and time consuming.

Development is a concept of continued growth. Growth to a point beyond what something originally was or even appeared that it could be. When you think of the development of people shouldn’t this always be our goal? When we minister by exclusively using relief, we are meeting an immediate need, but why would we stop there? So, when we minister with a rehabilitation mindset we are helping the individual eliminate unhealthy aspects of their life, which is incredible. With development we are helping in both of those things, but then building on them by helping the individual add good to their life and their situation so that they may be more than they originally thought they could be. Development provides a sustainable future of health.

Purple Door Coffee is about development. We hope to partner with our friends and employees as we meet immediate needs with the goal of bettering a life to the point of development. Purple Door Coffee is about helping our employees see their potential and value so that they can strive to live into that. Holistic development of individuals is our goal and our aim.

Purple Door Coffee…Why We’re Here

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Every day that I am in Denver I am affirmed in that this is where I am supposed to be. This is what I am supposed to be doing. At the same time when I see how much needs to be done it is a bit overwhelming. We have a to-do list a mile long. But the to-do list is the least of our worries.

As I spend time at events with Dry Bones Denver and I see some familiar faces on the streets, and I meet new friends living outdoors in the winter that is what really motivates me to get the things done on the to-do list. A to-do list for the sake of a to-do list isn’t motivating. It’s overwhelming. That’s why it is so important for us to build these relationships on the streets now. To be present and see the need for employment. For mentoring. For a chance. A chance to start over and rebuild lives.

Daily I remind myself of the why I’m here by way of our mission statement:

Reclaiming and sustaining homeless and street connected youth through supportive and meaningful employment.

That’s why I am here. That’s why I am checking things off the to-do list. That is why we exist.

From there I remind myself of our 3 more specific goals:

1.  To employ homeless and street connected youth who have been deemed unemployable in a loving and grace-centered environment.

2.  To create a sustainable business where our employees can learn valuable life skills, work ethic, and the art of coffee.

3.  To foster and encourage life-changing relationships between employees, volunteers, costumers, donors and the local community.

That’s why I am here. That’s why we as Purple Door Coffee exist.

–Mark