Restoration Outreach Programs (ROP) was launched in January 2008 to bring two existing programs under one organization, in order to provide a more cohesive, holistic service to people living in poverty along East Colfax Avenue in Denver and Aurora, Colorado.
The first program was Prodigal Gatherings, which began in 1995 as a coffee house for homeless and at-risk teens and then grew into an outreach for both children and teens. The second program was Heart to Hand Resource Center. It started under the direction of Open Door Ministries in 2004 as a counseling program for single mothers and grew to include a food bank, GED tutoring, and parenting classes. The two programs naturally started working together, as they were operating out of the same facility and sometimes worked with adults and children from the same families. In 2008, they came together to constitute Restoration Outreach Programs (ROP).
According to the Adams County Homeless Characteristics and Needs report, families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. In December 2010, The Denver Post reported that one of the hardest hit neighborhoods for poverty and homelessness in Colorado is in central Aurora, northwest of Peoria Street and East Alameda Avenue.
This is precisely the area served by ROP. Some clients are refugees from countries such as Nepal, Burma, Somalia and other nations where they experienced years of persecution. Others are Americans – Hispanic, Caucasian and African American. They live in motels, trailer parks, shabby apartments or on the street. Generations of chaotic and unhealthy lifestyles leave adults in the community trapped in addictions, abusive relationships and many times, illegal activities.
Refugee families also struggle to survive in isolation. They lack the skills and coping mechanisms to live healthy lifestyles, passing these behaviors on to the next generation. Children grow up with addicted parents or parents who work minimum wage jobs in an attempt to support their families.
ROP is a vital community resource for these people. The organization works tirelessly to provide resources and develop relationships that lead people to lives of self-sufficiency, and to provide mentoring and a consistent, safe place for teens and children, thereby building character and stability in their lives. ROP's stated mission is meeting needs, building relationships and restoring lives through Christ in the East Colfax. community.