DENVER (CBS4) – Snow days and freezing temperatures are particularly hard on people experiencing homelessness. CBS4 has teamed up with the Denver Rescue Mission to Spread the Warmth this winter. We’re collecting donations of money and winter weather clothing that the Rescue Mission can use to help its clients weather the winter.

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“This used to be my home,” said Michelle, as she indicates a ravine alongside I-70.

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Michelle lived in a tent with tarps on it to keep the elements at bay. She says she learned pretty quickly how to stay warm.

“We had a little propane camp stove, so we would find a way to get a little can of propane, and we’d turn it on, and turn it off, and turn it on, and turn it off,” she explained.

Michelle’s time along I-70 came towards the end of 10-years of homelessness.

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“It was hard not knowing where I was going to go, or where I was going to sleep,” she told CBS4.

Michelle was addicted to meth. She lost her children, and couldn’t hold down a job. Finally she asked God to intervene.

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“I wanted better. I didn’t want to have to keep worrying everyday about where I was going to stay.”

She went to rehab, and got clean. And then was able to get into the Denver Rescue Mission’s STAR program, a transitional housing program. Michelle benefited from case management, and several programs offered to STAR clients.

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“While I’ve been here, they had a Guest Services and Hospitality Certification Training Program, so I did that,” Michelle explained.

Now she has a steady job, some money in savings, and a lease to a new apartment she can call her own.

“I don’t even know how many times I thank God every day, for helping me get through all of this to get to come to where I am today.”

She’s also reconnecting with her kids, and living a life that brings her joy every day.

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LINK: Spread the Warmth