By Dominic Garcia
DENVER (CBS4) – More than 60 children at The Crossing are getting an updated playground and courtyard area to enjoy with their families as they seek to stabilize their lives toward self-sufficiency. Denver Rescue Mission unveiled the new outdoor space with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday evening.
“They love it, it’s beautiful. They love going to the park so now they got a park at their home,” said Keneshia Heard. She and her kids are staying at The Crossing in Northeast Park Hill, a Denver Rescue Mission facility. For months they’ve been moving from motel to motel but finally have some stability thanks to The Crossing. She says this playground gives her kids a safe place to just be kids.
“I got four children so they bond over the playground. By pushing each other or playing on the monkey bars,” she told CBS4.
More than $120,000 were raised by multiple donors to complete the playground. Additionally, Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray, also the founder of the Ray’s Awareness Foundation, in partnership with Good Sports donated all of the athletic equipment, like basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs and more.
“When you are in a situation as a child it’s very important they have some semblance of normalcy,” said Sebrina Johnson, Shane Ray’s mother. If anyone can relate to someone down on their luck it’s her. She says when her son was younger they needed some help.
“I lost my job, I was going through a divorce, I moved into a home and we didn’t have any furniture. I didn’t have any food we had to get on welfare,” she told CBS4.
Hard work and a great support system helped her get back on her feet. Now, all these years later she and her son are helping others get some normalcy back in their lives.
It’s important when you’re going through something like that you still have your self-dignity.”