By Dominic Garcia

(CBS4) – For men like Leonard Clark, the Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program has been just what he’s needed to get back on his feet. Clark is from Florida and when he moved to Colorado was homeless. That’s when he heard about the New Life Program.

CBS4’s Dominic Garcia interviews Leonard Clark. (credit: CBS)

“I told them about my life and how I definitely wanted to start over again and really get on a new path,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

The program has given him temporary housing and a job in the Rescue Mission’s medical clinic where he helps others who are in a situation he knows all too well.

“It’s nice to actually treat them as equals and say ‘Sir, what can I get for you today’ and actually help them out,” said Clark.

(credit: CBS)

Rescue Mission officials say the New Life Program provides a community-oriented environment for participants to gain the skills, stability and self esteem necessary to become productive, self sufficient members of society. It integrates five basic components and is a national model for long-term rehabilitation programs.

It centers around five basic components:

1. Spiritual Development: Opportunities for personal development in Jesus Christ
2. Case Management: The case manager/chaplain helps participants address their spiritual, physical, psychological, legal, financial, medical, educational, and/or employment-related issues during weekly meetings.
3. Christian Counseling: Participants are provided Christian-based counseling.
4. Life Skills, Education & Career: Participants can discover and develop their personal, academic and career potential.
5. Work Therapy: Prepares each participant for successful employment by developing a solid work ethic, positive experiences and valuable skills.

(credit: CBS)

On Thursday night, he and over 100 other men in the program celebrated Christmas with a special dinner, and presents. For many of them, the holidays can be a difficult time of year. Some have lost touch with their families and loved ones, and others haven’t had a joyful holiday season in years. This gift and meal help provide a Christmas experience and help give them hope throughout the entire year.

“For the men in this program, it’s their Christmas. That’s what today is and we’re very excited about it,” said Brad Meuli, President & CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s nice to make new friends and have a brotherhood amongst other Christians and learn from other people as well,” said Clark.

For more information on the New Life Program you can visit denverrescuemission.org.

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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