By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 is partnered with the Denver Rescue Mission to spread the warmth this winter. More than 6,000 people live in homelessness, and the Rescue Mission is working to get them back into stable housing. A hot meal is one way they get people in need through the door.

“My food means more to me than the pay check, because the food is sustaining life, it’s giving somebody a good day at work, and it’s giving somebody a good sleep at night,” said Kelvin Blue, a chef at the Denver Rescue Mission.

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Blue spoke to CBS4 while he was cooking up lunch at the Rescue Mission’s The Crossing facility. On the menu, chili dogs, roasted potatoes, turkey in gravy, and white rice with butter. A hearty meal for people going through hard times.

“You have to serve each person with dignity and grace, at all times,” said Kevin Baker, Director of Food Services at the Denver Rescue Mission.

The Rescue Mission is serving up to 2,500 meals-a-day, a sharp increase over this time last year.

“Food insecurities is a huge, huge deal,” Baker explained.

Chef Blue takes pride in easing those insecurities.

“Yes the man can cook, but what I really loved about him was just this genuine spirit that comes straight from his heart,” Baker said of Blue.

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Blue remembers when he came to the Rescue Mission for a hot meal.

“With that meal, it gave me hope for the next day,” Blue told CBS4.

He was living in a storage unit, struggling with addiction, and hope was hard to come by.

“I have nothing…I’m sitting there…I’m crying…I’m about ready to give up on  life,” Blue said about his lowest moments.

Instead of giving up, he got help through the Rescue Mission’s New Life Program. That was seven years ago, he’s been sober ever since. Now he’s dishing up hope one meal at a time.

LINK: Spread the Warmth

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CBS4 has partnered with the Denver Rescue Mission to Spread the Warmth this winter. You can make a donation by texting “WARMTH” to 24365.

Libby Smith