Ecumenical Social Ministries opens emergency shelter for women

November 04, 2016
Rev. Ann Lantz
Submitted by LaToya Foster
Ecumenical Social Ministries

City officials in Colorado Springs knew they had a problem when the much anticipated opening of the city's year-round shelter was going to be delayed from the original opening date of Nov. 1. With winter coming on there were no low-barrier emergency shelter beds available for women.

City officials made a request to the Rev. Ann Steiner Lantz, clergy member of the Rocky Mountain Conference and executive director of Ecumenical Social Ministries (ESM), to consider opening and staffing an emergency shelter for women in downtown Colorado Springs. Ecumenical Social Ministries agreed to the proposal, and the shelter opened Nov. 1 and will remain open until the city's year-round shelter opens, which is now slated for Nov. 18.

Ecumenical Social Ministries was established in 1982 by the eight historic downtown churches in Colorado Springs, including First United Methodist Church, and offers services to those experiencing homelessness and those who are economically disadvantaged. With a priority on human dignity, ESM has embraced the challenge of opening the emergency shelter and looks forward to welcoming guests in the spirit of Matthew 25.

Ann explained that other area nonprofits are stepping up to assist ESM in this mission to help get these women into a safe and warm place.

"Opening this temporary emergency shelter is so in keeping with our mission here at ESM," Ann explained. "Jesus was very clear in his teachings and life examples about how we are to help those in need.  It's all about helping them to restore their dignity.  It is our response to the Gospel."

For more information, please contact Ecumenical Social Ministries at 719-636-1916.