what we do

a snapshot of the Dry Bones community

companioning is our vital work.

The foundation of all that Dry Bones does begins with friendship supported by these three pillars:

  • You Belong
  • You Are Unconditionally Loved
  • You Have Immeasurable Worth

A Critical Niche

Dry Bones exists among the unique population of teens and young adults that seek their survival on the streets of Denver, Colorado. These young people often refer to themselves as “street kids.” 

Our work fills an ambiguous, but critical niche. It is uncommonly relationship-based and does not treat people like projects. The unquantifiable relationships we continue to develop recognize “street kids” ineffable sense of worth in a world that tells them relentlessly they are worthless.

Whether it’s a home-cooked meal around the Dry Bones family table, a camping trip, accompanying a friend to a court date or a scary visit to the dentist, the Dry Bones community supports each other through the mundane and outrageous days of life.

Through our living-room-like headquarters, Dry Bones is able to provide many practical needs such as showers, laundry, hygiene, clean socks and underwear, clothing, survival gear, therapy, spiritual support, and more. 

We create intersections where people from different walks of life, who would otherwise have no business meeting each other (such as the housed and the unhoused), end up in the same room – and everyone’s life is changed. Here, all can be sure that we are not beyond love. Above all, our community is doing our best to practice the ways of Jesus. 

The rattling sounds of our dry bones coming to life are everywhere – if you’re listening. 

Explore more

Our street outreach team spends most afternoons pounding the pavement, praying with their feet, and doing their best to keep their fingers on the pulse of the city. We hope to connect with our friends where they spend time and stay abreast of the challenges that life on the street presents.

The art of companioning is intentional, sometimes intense, but more often quite simple. In many ways, Dry Bones staff and volunteers play some of the roles that close family might play if they were able or available.

In our community, companioning may look like:

Answering a late night phone call
Accompanying someone to meet up with a family member they’ve not seen in a long time.
Listening on a park bench
Celebrating a birthday or new job
Mourning alongside one another
Navigating daunting social systems
Creating a resume together
Visiting someone in jail or the hospital
Going to the eye doctor together
Helping a friend move into a new apartment
Meeting with a case worker or doctor to help translate or digest new information
Throwing a baby shower
Planning a funeral 
Working on a puzzle
Sitting silently with good coffee
Throwing a frisbee
   …and much much more.

Dry Bones began using the term companioning for what we had unintentionally been doing for 20 years thanks to the work and writings of Craig Rennebohm. 

“’Companioning is comprised of four basic practices: offering hospitality; walking side by side; spiritual listening; and accompaniment,’ says Craig. He describes companioning as a way of relating to each other in a relationship that is responsive to suffering, supportive of healing and recovery, and shared in public.” (read more from this source)

Dry Bones has a small team of therapy specialists that offer professional therapy sessions, life coaching, and psychiatric referrals as needed. 

Dry Bones staff serve as clergy on the streets of Denver. From jail and hospital visits to officiating weddings and funerals to street-corner pastoral counseling and bible studies at the HQ, Dry Bones strives to create a supportive and safe environment to experience the deeper questions of faith and God alongside each other. 

We relish the opportunity to come together in community. There is nothing like a shared meal to remind us that we are all more alike than we are different. 

Dry Bones offers various opportunities to spend time together each week. Whether it be a hike, an evening family style meal around the table, arts and crafts, puzzles, picnics in the park, bowling, movies, trips to the zoo or an art gallery, there’s always an opportunity to get to know each other.

Dry Bones shares food, supplies, offers showers, laundry, and meals several times each week.

If you are a young person experiencing houselessness and want to know our schedule, please reach out through this link

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or sharing a meal, you can learn more here

To learn more about our 12 month job-training program at Purple Door Coffee, visit this page

To support the mission, purchase coffee here!

Beyond this program, Dry Bones often assists with resume building, job applications, and will provide work clothes for a successful first day on a new job. 

Dry Bones staff build relationships with and depend upon many local agencies doing incredible work.

Staff spend a lot of quality time helping our friends navigate daunting application processes, availabilities, and providing accompaniment to appointments. 

We are pleased to extend the invitation to get cleaned up in our shower and laundry room at the Dry Bones HQ.

Nothing refreshes the mind and spirit quite like a good hot shower. 

Needing a shower? Reach out to us here

We share various supplies among our friends as provisions allow, such as: 

Sleeping bags, blankets, tarps, tents, backpacks, etc.
Warm coats, new underwear, socks, pants, shirts, shoes, etc
General hygiene supplies
Menstrual care
Instant hand-warmers
Journals, pens, art supplies
RTD bus tickets
First Aid Supplies
And more

If you’d like to see what our current needs are, please visit our Amazon Wishlist or contact Lauren Wertheim

Thanks to relationships with amazing local lawyers, Dry Bones is able to connect our friends with some legal advisement* through monthly clinics and as needs arise.

*when appropriate and under certain conditions

Dry Bones offers many opportunities for you and your group to catch a new vision. Come, see, and discover new inspiration alongside the Dry Bones team. 

We offer experiences, such as: 

  • Turf Tour Walks – 2 hour walks designed to educate, inspire, and expose small groups to the realities of the unhoused. On a Turf Tour, we invite the city to tell us its stories.
  • Elevations – a 6 day experience for high school student ministries in the summertime.
  • Short term Vision Trips (1-4 days) for college and adult groups throughout the calendar year

If you would like to inquire about Dry Bones hosting your small group, please contact our Vision Trip Coordinator, Mark Wilson.

Elevations is a six day experience for high school students that combines the heights of adventure and contemplation in the wilderness with dynamic depths in the city. We design these trips to be inspiring, educational, fun, and uniquely spiritual – both in the city and the mountains.

Learn more about Elevations here 

We offer various internship experiences for college, post-graduate, and gap year students.  Our internships range from 10 weeks to one year. 

To inquire about current openings, please contact Lauren Wertheim

Dry Bones attends various meetings in order to bring a voice of advocacy on behalf of unhoused youth (city council, neighborhood groups, outreach agencies, etc). We invite our unhoused friends to lead when possible.