Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Power of Synergy in Rebuilding Lives

It’s not easy to rebuild a life from addiction, homelessness or prison. The inherent obstacles to overcoming these issues in an urban environment make success very difficult.

It’s like attempting to get to the other side of a roaring mountain river without being swept away by the raging waters. In many ways it takes a miracle to get to the other side. And over the years, I’ve become convinced that apart from hearing and believing the good news of the gospel, the odds of success are very slim.

But in addition to the power of the gospel, it also takes the practical to overcome. Individuals rebuilding lives need both supportive living environments and redemptive employment. If either is missing, the challenges of life can quickly become overwhelming and the bad choices of old get repeated with the resulting consequences.

At Belay Enterprises and Bud’s Warehouse, we are in the third month of an exciting relationship with local transitional housing provider Providence Network. As part of an innovative grant funded by Mile High United Way, individuals get a supportive transitional home program as well as employment and job training through a comprehensive partnership.

Each organization has its own unique strengths. But by working together, the synergy creates a whole new level of service to attack the unique challenges faced by individuals rebuilding lives.

It is like the quiet pools of water created by large rocks in the mountain stream. Individuals still need to cross the treacherous, fast –flowing water, but an integrated program of housing, life and job skill training, and employment creates eddies that provide safe resting stops on the way across the river.

I encourage other organizations to look for ways to partner in the interest of better serving disadvantaged populations. And, as always, I urge Christ-following entrepreneurs to seek ways to use their business skills to create supportive faith venture businesses to employ individuals often left behind in our society.

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