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Faith-based nonprofit in Lakewood seeking support after pipes burst in freezing temperatures

Faith-based nonprofit organization seeking support after pipes burst in freezing cold
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 00:15:11-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A faith-based nonprofit that helps those who are living on the streets is seeking support after its pipes burst due to the freezing temperatures.

For people living on the streets, the bitter cold in Colorado can mean life or death. David Clifton, who experienced homelessness more than three decades ago, understands the severity of the weather.

“I found myself homeless at one time, and I camped out in an abandoned hotel with no heat. It was just an empty place. And I made a promise to the Lord and I said, 'Lord, if you help me out in my time of need, when the time comes, I'll help those that have a need as well.' So, he kept his promise. So, I'm keeping mine," Clifton said.

Clifton is the founder of David Clifton Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. Their goal is to provide basic needs for people who are unhoused, including shelter, food, clothing, showers, blankets and jackets.

Due to the days-long arctic cold snap, Clifton said they have consistently sheltered around 20 people every night. Deserray Ruiz and Danny Quintanilla, a married couple, believe they would have frozen to death if they weren't brought to the shelter on Monday.

“A gift from God because I prayed last night and He answered my prayers. I didn’t think He heard me, but He heard me," Ruiz said through tears while sitting by the fire. Her feet were purple when she was first brought to the Lakewood shelter.

Quintanilla said the two are originally from Denver and have been living on the streets for around a dozen years.

“I've never seen it this bad," Quintanilla said, talking about the cold temperatures. “Thank God these people are here, opening up their doors... They're giving us clothes, showers, giving us food, feeding us, coffee, everything. And you know what? There's not too many people that will do that and help us out.”

The nonprofit organization needs help of its own after pipes burst in the freezing temperatures on Sunday night. Water caused the ceiling to collapse inside one of the cottages that houses people in need. Clifton said because the pipes burst, the organization has no heat or water.

“We need somebody who knows how to fix it, fast," said Clifton. “I need plumbers. I need carpenters. I need people to know how to do drywall. And I need supporters. We need people that can get behind this organization and support us financially in a big way.”

Clifton hopes by spreading the word about the damage, they are able to get it repaired. He said the nonprofit cannot afford to do so without support.

“My greatest wish is that people would find out that we're here so that they can support us," said Clifton. "No one takes a salary. We're all volunteers. I had an old pastor that used to say, 'I'm just a beggar showing another beggar where the bread is.'”

The best way to learn more about the organization, or help support them as they work to repair the damage, is through their website.

Faith-based nonprofit seeking support after pipes burst in freezing temperatures

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