DENVER (CBS4) – Christmas is supposed to be a magical time for children and their families, but the economic downturn means some of those families are struggling just to stay together.
That’s certainly the case for Serenity and Briana and their mom Olga Sanchez, but thanks to The Crossing they are together for the holidays.
The Crossing is a facility for families run by the Denver Rescue Mission.
“A lot times folks are coming from living in motels on Colfax, often living in their cars or living in different shelters, sometimes families aren’t able to stay together,” explained Alexxa Gagner with the Mission.
In the metro area, families make up 62 percent of the homeless population.
Olga knows without this help she might be all alone, without her girls.
“Where would I be? I would probably be in a shelter without my kids,” she said. “They are helping me get my kids back little by little.”
And The Crossing is giving kids back more than just their families.
“Often kids get caught in the cycle of poverty when they are living in a car with parents trying to make ends meet,” Gagner said. “Kids get caught in that and aren’t able to be kids and relax and have fun.”
Volunteers help out at The Crossing, even sponsoring a Christmas party complete with Santa Claus and a way for children to get presents for their parents. For many of those kids, it’s the first time they have been able to give mom and dad a gift.
The families who live at the Crossing do pay rent and take classes to help them find jobs. A typical family stays at the facility for 2 years or less.
But for the families in need — like Olga and her girls — The Crossing promises them a better future.
“It’s safe, I can breathe and I can see my girls being happy.”
About the Denver Rescue Mission
The Denver Rescue Mission is changing lives in the name of Christ by meeting people at their physical and spiritual points of need. Visit their website for more information about their programs.