The Springs Rescue Mission and Catholic Charities of Central Colorado will work together to help families who are homeless, the two groups said at a press conference Tuesday.

The partnership will involve expansions of programs and services of Catholic Charities to serve the growing needs of families in crisis, said Catholic Charities President and CEO Andy Barton.

Under the new agreement, the Springs Rescue Mission will be on site at the Marian House, and Catholic Charities will provide bridge services as construction begins at the mission’s campus.

The partnership was announced the same week that the Springs Rescue Mission plans to break ground on several new buildings on its 9-acre site at 5 W. Las Vegas, said President and CEO Larry Yonker.

Bishop Michael Sheridan of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs and Mayor John Suthers, who was adopted through Catholic Charities, also commended the groups for their efforts.

“Together, these two organizations serve a critical function of helping people meet very basic survival needs, like shelter, food, clothing and personal hygiene,” Suthers said.

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Owned and operated by Catholic Charities, the Marian House has always been an ecumenical center, said Sheridan.

The efforts tie into Pope Francis’s declaration that 2016 is the year of mercy.

“Mercy is shown in a number of ways, not least of which is that mercy that reaches out in compassion and in general love on a one-on-one basis to those of need,” Sheridan said.

“We are excited about this partnership. None of us can do all things,” Yonker said. The two nonprofits are “aligned in values. We honor the people we serve,” he said.

The shift in Catholic Charities’ focus to family needs was due largely to a five-year renewable state grant of $350,000 to expand the nonprofit’s Family Resource Center, located at the Marian House. Catholic Charities will use the money to expand its programs to help vulnerable families and enlarge its partnership with the medical community, Partners in Housing, CPCD and the Salvation Army to ensure coordinated access to services families need, according to a news release sent by the organizations.

“Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, we can concentrate our limited resources and energy around the specific needs of families,” said Barton. “In addition, supporting Springs Rescue Mission in their work with chronic adult homelessness … is the type of coordination we need to do around the crisis of homelessness.”

Nunn Construction will break ground Wednesday on the $13.8 million Springs Rescue Mission campus. Yonker said the goal is to have it open this fall.

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