The Delores Project (TDP) supports homeless women across metro Denver, Colorado. Its impact has grown significantly since it opened its doors 20 years ago. Today TDP is seeing the practical benefits of the Peace Education Program introduced in 2016 that helps people discover hope and recognize their inner strength.
TDP, a privately funded, secular organization now serves 450 homeless women annually.
Individuals such as guest “E” have found TDP to be lifesaving. “I became homeless as a result of other people’s actions. If I hadn’t gotten into the program, I wouldn’t have made it,” says “E”.
“We provide shelter and a path to stability for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness from across metro Denver,” says Stephanie Miller, Executive Director of TDP. “We believe in extending hospitality to everyone who walks through our doors.”
Many homeless women benefit from TDP’s values of respect and dignity. They arrive from various situations: living in a car, forced out of a home, living on the street without food and shelter, scared and never feeling safe. Many have experienced physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse. At TDP they are accepted unconditionally without a myriad of questions. Protecting their identity is critical. Their histories are kept private to ensure an immediate sense of relief and safety.
Support and Practical Tools
Through its Steps to Stability program, TDP offers support and practical tools for living. Heather Orem, Transitional Advocate and manager of Steps said the strengths-based and trauma informed program offers guests the chance to overcome barriers and improve their life and interpersonal skills.
The most popular class in Steps is the Peace Education Program, introduced in 2016. “Our guests lack coping skills, and the peace class nourishes their ability to move forward through challenges. They find an internal peace from the program,” Heather said.
“It’s my lifeline”
Peace Education Program is a series of workshops that guide an individual toward discovering inner resources integral in developing healthy life skills. Each session focuses on one of ten topics: Peace, Appreciation, Inner Strength, Self-Awareness, Clarity, Understanding, Dignity, Choice, Hope, and Contentment.
Facilitated reflection time and voluntary discussion provide ways for guests to understand how these tools can be practically applied day-to-day. The secular program aligns with TDP’s core values of respect and dignity.
TDP’s staff notices that the guests become more focused, positive, hopeful and confident. One participant commented that “It’s my lifeline.”
191 individuals have attended the peace workshops since they began. “Many of our guests experience the stigma of being homeless and judged. The peace classes help them accept themselves and see their worth,” said Heather. The content provides a way to recognize and build inner strength and regain hope.
You judge yourself by all the scales the world puts in front of you, and this becomes the measure of your success. Forget about the world’s scales. Know that your inner house is strong.
– Prem Rawat, International Ambassador of Peace and author
Prem Rawat’s message of inner peace and strength is the substance of the classes. His work has reached hundreds of millions of people globally.
- For a brief introduction to Prem Rawat and The Prem Rawat Foundation, visit this link.
- To learn more about the Peace Education Program and how to begin a program, visit the Peace Education Program Introduction.
- Read more about The Delores Project here.
Note: names of The Delores Project guests in this story have been changed to protect their identity