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.
The roots of Denver Rescue Mission are found in a rescue home for women, started by Rev. Joshua Gravett, pastor of Galilee Baptist Church. In 1892, the shelter opened near 31st and Lawrence in the home of two women from Gravett’s congregation. The Rescue Home soon merged with the Florence Crittendon Mission and Home for Women in late 1892. With a shelter available for women, Gravett and his church began plans for a men’s shelter, which they opened as a faith mission under the name Living Waters Mission at 1822 Larimer Street.
Approximately 20 years later, Jim Goodheart, a former Living Waters Mission guest, became director of the Mission and changed the name to Sunshine Rescue Mission. Under his leadership, the Mission expanded to include three buildings and two lots located at 1820 to 1824 Larimer Street. At the same time, a dormitory for transients, called Sunshine House, was opened at 1640 Market Street. By 1922, the Mission’s annual budget was approximately $35,000 with more than 3,000 overnight accommodations provided each month.
Because of his success, the Board of Directors sold the Mission to Goodheart for one dollar in 1924. Three years later, Goodheart was hospitalized for a breakdown, and in 1930, the Mission was closed and sold to pay debts.
Soon after the closing of Sunshine Rescue Mission, Rev. Gravett and a dedicated group of volunteers rented space and reopened the Mission at 1120 Eighteenth Street. They named this new outreach Denver Rescue Mission.
In 1940, the Mission purchased a one-story building for $6,000 at 1818 Larimer Street. Nearly 20 years later, under the leadership of Rev. Truman Thompson, a new building was built behind the original one. The 7,500 square-foot facility included two stories complete with kitchen, dining room, garage, and dormitory. The total cost of the new building was $33,000. One year later, the Mission opened its first medical and dental clinics.
The Urban Renewal Administration paid the Mission $76,000 for its Larimer Street facility in the summer of 1970. Before the facility was torn down, the Mission purchased its current downtown facility, the Lawrence Street Shelter, at the corner of Park Avenue and Lawrence Street for $120,000.
2013 Net Assets