Hey friends –
Wanted to interrupt my summer blogging sabbatical for a moment to tell you about an initiative here in the city that I think is REALLY cool and also wanted to invite you to consider supporting.
The city of Denver has a fairly high population of homeless youth. Though it’s difficult, for a variety of reasons, to come up with an exact number, estimates range from 900 to nearly 2,000. However you slice it, that’s a lot of kids.
And the thing here is that, unlike many of their adult counterparts (whose difficult lives often leave them drained of energy or hope to get off the streets), most of these youth still have a burning ambition to change their situation and make a difference with their time and talents. The fire of youthful hoping and dreaming hasn’t gone out in the vast majority of them. They just need someone to stand with them, put their arm around them, and help them acquire the necessary skills to get where they want to go.
That’s where Purple Door Coffee comes in. According to their website,
Purple Door Coffee is a coffeehouse that exists to give job opportunities to homeless youth and young adults who are working to exit homelessness.
We exist to give opportunities to kids who have been deemed ‘unemployable’ and ‘unusable’ by society. We teach job skills that are universal to any job and we teach the art of making coffee and espresso. We exist to teach former ‘street kids’ how to work in today’s workplace. We provide tools of community, accountability, love and grace that will help our employees on their journeys to a new life.
Opening in this Fall (and working in tandem with local ministries Dry Bones Denver and Belay Enterprises), Purple Door will serve as a “middle space” type experience… a bridge to help get kids from where they are to where they want to be. It’s exactly the kind of thing that Denver needs.
The chief architects of this idea, Mark Smesrud and Madison Chandler, are part of our community at Bloom and it’s been a joy for us a community to walk with and support them. We love the idea of Purple Door because it combines beautifully so many of the things we love… creativity, culture, sustainable ministry, entrepreneurship, a concern for the “welfare of the city”, and so on. Would to God that we would see many more efforts like this.
In order to hit their target launch date, Purple Door needs to raise approximately $122,000 of startup money. They’ve recently received an ENORMOUS help in this endeavor through their sister ministry, Dry Bones Denver, which has arranged generous donors who will match funds up to $30,000 received before August 15th! That means that your contributions to their ministry can have double the impact if you give before then.
I’d encourage you to head to their website and blog, read all about what they’re up to, and if you feel prompted – give. And to you Bloomers, stay tuned all summer long for more news on specific ways you can be involved with the launch of PDC.
That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time. And for those of you who’ve been praying for us this summer – thanks. We’ve felt the prayers, and this summer has been incredibly renewing and rejuvenating so far. We appreciate you.
Grace and peace,