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Matt Wallace

Shocked But Now I See – You’re With Us

September 7, 2020 | By | No Comments

“Oh, I see! They’re with you, right?”

“Pardon?” I said. 

“That man and that woman over there. They’re taking pictures of us. Well, they’re taking pictures of you helping us poor people, right? Are they your camera crew or somethin’?” 

“Oh. No. I don’t. Well, I don’t know those people. They’re not with me. They are definitely taking pictures of us though. Hmm.”

My new young friend “Josh” yelled, “Why don’t you come across the street so that you can get that camera right in my face? How about you come closer so that you can get better pics of us poor homeless people? Come on over. You don’t have to hide!” He cursed under his breath as he claimed a blanket, a coat, a warm beanie, and some food from my car. Before sauntering off, he murmured, “Well, I’m glad they’re not with you. Thank you for the supplies.” 

I had never met Josh before today. There were others at his camp that I did know, but he was new. I assured him that I would never take photos of him like that. Never. I think he believed me? Read More

Susan

August 1, 2020 | By | No Comments

Recently, long time outreach staff Susan Zimmerhackel retired. I look back through the past 16 years of Susan’s time with Dry Bones and it’s easy to be in awe. If you have ever met Susan, you know what I mean. She is one special, genuine, authentic, whole-hearted, selfless, dependable, determined, tiny little firecracker of a woman.

Susan doesn’t mind sharing that it was a few key women in her life whose love remained relentless during her greatest time of life change, growth, and need. These women saw the beauty of Susan’s true self and simply never let go of her. And it’s because of the love that has been poured into her life that she has the drive and the ability to pour into the lives of others in a similar way.

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There are so many great examples of Susan’s ministry at Dry Bones. Susan has laid down her life in a unique way for dozens of girls and guys living on the streets of Denver. Over and over again, she has put their well being before her own – so many people that have experienced Susan breathing the Life of God into theirs.

We will miss you so much at Dry Bones, Susan, and we loudly proclaim, “Well done! Good and faithful servant of God. It has all been worth it.” We are so excited about this next season of your life. Susan, you are my hero. I have learned so much from watching you love others. You are nothing less than one of a kind. We can’t all be like you. But we also can’t help but be inspired by you. I wish to love, see, serve, hope, and persevere with a tenth of the passion, conviction, and tenacity you have.

The Contagion of Joy

April 30, 2020 | By | No Comments

It had been a long couple of years.  Honestly, Nikki and I were tired.  Our family had been growing (up) and the weight of needs just kept flowing as Dry Bones had been growing too.  The world felt chaotic and overwhelmingly fast-paced.  I know you can relate.  Read More

Social Distancing :: A Preexisting Condition

March 20, 2020 | By | 10 Comments

To many of us, social distancing is new.  We’ve never been told to not hug, not hang out, not say yes to an invitation to dinner, and basically to not be warm-hearted.  We have been disrupted, haven’t we? I, for one, don’t like it and I’m an introvert.

For many in the Dry Bones community, social distancing is not so new.  That’s not to say that our friends don’t love hanging out like any other human. It’s just that many people that experience homelessness are socially distanced by default. Social distancing is a virus that has affected our world for years.

Through the years, I’ve asked my friends on the streets these questions: “What’s the hardest part about living on the streets? About experiencing homelessness?”  They have responded Read More

COVID-19 – A Letter from Dry Bones

March 11, 2020 | By | No Comments

The letter linked below was written on March 10th.  As you all know, things are changing quickly! Please visit THIS PAGE to keep up to date with Dry Bones regarding COVID-19 and our response.
Read our letter filled with thoughts, questions, updates, and info here:

Dry Bones COVID-19 Letter

Are You a Program? What Does Success Look Like?

February 14, 2020 | By | No Comments

The biggest “success” is when it is no longer possible for a young person on the streets to say, “Nobody loves or cares about me.” Dry Bones’ specialty is safe and genuine spiritual, relational, and familial support. We hope to eradicate the experience of loneliness, lack of self-worth, and kids not believing in the unsurpassable worth God sees in them. We’re willing to walk alongside our friends in seasons of hopelessness, despair, addiction, and darkness. Read More

Perspective – Exist With Me Bro

September 18, 2018 | By | 4 Comments

As we head towards the annual fundraising dinner this October, we’ve been considering the significance of this year’s theme: Perspective.  We hope you’ll plan to join us on October 20th! Details and tickets are here

Perspective – pərˈspektiv/. noun

1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.”a perspective drawing”

2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

A SEVEN-SECOND PERSPECTIVE-SHIFTING CONVERSATION WITH JOEY. OCTOBER, 2003.

Joey: “What are you doing here?”

Me: “Well, I just came down to see you,”

Joey: “Oh yeah? You would have to come down to see a guy like me.”

Ouch! This response more than rattled me.  He’s got this wrong! That’s not what I’m doing. That’s not what I meant! Flustered, I fumbled through a quick conversation and we parted ways. 

That’s not what I’m doing, right?  As I thought deeply about his words later that night, I moved from flustered to convicted.  I realized that he was right. That was my attitude.  He detected it long before I did.  Read More

Knitting 4 Peace and Dry Bones

September 15, 2018 | By | No Comments

Contemplative Crochet in Community
This article first appeared in Knitting4Peace’s newsletter
written by Kathleen Marsh, Executive Director of Knitting4Peace

Recently, I visited Dry Bones in Denver, Colorado.  Dry Bones seeks to meet spiritual and physical needs of homeless and street-connected youth and young adults.  While there, I was fortunate to listen to Joyce Garrett, Life Formation Coach, speak about contemplative crochet.

Joyce spoke gratefully of Mary Ellen, Knitting4Peace assistant, who made deliveries of warm winter hats and scarves last year to Dry Bones.  These deliveries later turned into gifts of donated yarn, hooks, and needles for this young, transformative group.

As the Dry Bones group began to learn about the mission of K4P around the world, a couple of the youth wanted to be a part of it.  Joyce writes, “we found that a craft or handiwork of some kind helps the kids recall, remember, or experience relaxation.”   Read More

One Sock. No Shoes.

September 14, 2017 | By | One Comment

One Sock.  No Shoes.
She looks like a skeleton with skin.

Smiling, she says,
“I’m going to rehab tonight!
…But I have no shoes.”

Her smile drops to a frown as her eyes fill with tears that flood down her sunken cheeks.

“Isn’t that pathetic?”
I’m so pathetic.
I can’t even take care of myself.
I have no clue where the shoes I had went.
I just want to be clean and sober.
I feel so stuck.
I hate this.” Read More

A Response to Downtown Violence 7/3/16

July 3, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

For those of us who hear and see the local Denver news, “Fear the homeless” and “Fear downtown” have been major themes this week. In fact the fear is selling big. Fear always sells. That’s not to say that violence isn’t higher on the streets than normal this summer. I believe it has been. Many of our young houseless friends are scared too.

Some of the violence we’ve now seen on tape is truly terrible and bizarre. There are at least 3 documented expressions of Read More