Our mission is to offer a dignified alternative to dying alone on the street for those with terminal illness.
For those without a home, we provide a comfortable place to live during their last days. Our staff and volunteers offer basic care like help with laundry, cleaning, and companionship. Our hospice agency partners provide skilled nursing & physician services, and medical equipment.
We are a nonsectarian 501(c)3 offering shelter for end-of-life care regardless of a person's race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.
Rocky Mountain Refuge is a member of Omega Home Network, a national organization that promotes the development and expansion of community homes for dying people.
At the top of 2023 we knew we had enough money to provide care until the first week of June. Through hard fundraising work and the amazing support of our donors, we have been able to continue our care-giving all through the summer months!
However, we have finally come to the point that we must suspend the care-giving portion of our project Friday, August 25th.
While we won’t be able to accept new residents during this time, the Board will continue the mission by working hard to develop new funding models that will make us sustainable moving forward. For example, we have some positive movement with area health systems and will be working to finalize plans with them.
In the image above you will see all the folks who have passed away with us during our time of being open. These folks are why we began our mission and why we must continue. We are committed to helping people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity to receive end-of-life care.
The Board wants to thank everyone for their continued support and we look forward to restoring our program in full as soon as we are able.
You can become part of our mission of making a person's final days more comfortable by donating to us using the button below.
Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care aspires to create an organization that is representative of the community at large, and board membership shall not be restricted because of race, creed, color, nationality, religious beliefs, age, sex, or disability.
Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care is committed to providing all of its employees and volunteers with a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care does not discriminate against or allow harassment of any employee or volunteer based on that person's race, ethnicity, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, ancestry, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by law.
Mark Bell (he/him) is founder and Principal Consultant for Tirador Compliance LLC, a regulatory compliance consultancy for small and medium investment advisory firms.
Mark and Brother JP started discussions in 2017 that led to the founding of our organization, and Mark has served on the Board since our incorporation in 2019. He previously served on many non-profit boards and committees, and directed a community food bank serving northeast Littleton.
Mark brings business experience, writing and communication skills, a weird sense of humor, and cat-herding capabilities.
Van (he/him) is the President of Currell Program Management, LLC, a consulting practice providing affordable housing development services.
Van’s 30-plus years of experience in community and affordable housing development has included the coordination of supportive services for children, families, and seniors residing in these developments. Van is pursuing his licensure as a professional counselor, and he has a particular interest in palliative and hospice care.
Van brings knowledge of public-private partnerships and experience with grant and philanthropic funding, in addition to his passion for our mission.
Jennifer Ditmarsch is Director of Operations for a local mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm.
She has been in the engineering world for more than 30 years where she has worn hats related to Human Resources, Accounting, Marketing, IT and Building Management.
Jennifer brings her Human Resources knowledge and passion for learning from her brothers and sisters who are experiencing homelessness.
Michele Ferguson is a retired hospice physician and neurologist.
Michele has served on our Board since its founding in 2019. She practiced Neurology and then Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Colorado, and was a hospice medical director in Boulder County.
Michele brings medical experience and a true calling to hospice and palliative care.
James Patrick Hall (he/him) is a friar with the Brotherhood of St. Gregory and recently retired as an Engineering Software Administrator for a local healthcare firm.
JP is a founding visionary with Rocky Mountain Refuge, beginning with the very first discussions in 2017, has served on the Board of Directors since our incorporation in 2019, and was appointed Interim Executive Director in 2021.
JP works extensively with people on the margins of society and served as a volunteer companion caregiver at Clare House in Tulsa, a similar sister organization through Omega Home Network, from 2003 to 2006. JP also participated in his mother and his younger brother’s hospice care.
Samm Melton-Hill (they/she) is the Pastor of Highlands Lutheran Church in Denver and previously served as a Palliative Care Chaplain at the University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz Medical Campus.
They have served in a number of diverse settings, including McLean Psychiatric Hospital, the First Church Men's Shelter (Cambridge), the Massachusetts Correctional Institution- Framingham (MA), and several congregational settings. They completed their MDiv at Harvard Divinity School and are currently working towards their STM at United Lutheran Seminary, where their thesis focuses on Lutheran theological arguments in support of MAID.
Samm brings a background of working closely with particular populations, such as LGBTQ+, formerly incarcerated, Native, Indigenous, First Nation, and young adults. They especially enjoy working with technology and system organization.
Tim Mueller consults with older adults and their caregivers, providing planning, advisory, and coaching services and works as a Project Manager for a local technology company.
He retired from IBM as a Senior Project Manager in 2014 to do more personally meaningful work using the skills and experience he developed during his career.
Tim serves as a board member for Senior Housing Options, and volunteers with the Colorado Gerontological Society.
Logan Robertson (he/him) currently serves as Pastor at AfterHours Denver, a bar church and homeless ministry which provides necessities to anyone who needs them in the Denver area. Logan also serves as Shift Director at Network Coffee House, a hospitality house where the dignity of all people is clearly affirmed.
He has served homeless service providers in Denver and beyond for over a dozen years, seeking to maintain a center of gravity with the unhoused and unseen.
Logan has also worked in advocacy, organizing for innovative approaches to housing and service on behalf of our friends on the street and against the criminalization of homelessness.
Rachel Rogers (she/her) is the Academic Director and Assistant Teaching Professor for the Healthcare Management program at University College, University of Denver.
Her previous work has been in bedside nursing, healthcare leadership, and health informatics.
Rachel is a life-long learner and is pursuing her doctorate in higher education at the University of Denver.
Rebecca Schuyler (she/her) is a retired software developer, tester, and network engineer for the applications of military communications, medical equipment, and wireless telephones. She wrote many specification documents, a skill that is translating well to writing grant applications for non-profits.
She is current treasurer and past president of a community music organization and has served as a hotline volunteer coordinator for a pregnancy center. She cared for her mother and father-in-law at home, serving as the primary caregiver while they transitioned.
She looks forward to utilizing her life experience in assisting with this gap in care.
Orion Stephenson (he/him) currently serves as a Site Coordinator for Colorado Village Collaborative, whose mission is to bridge the gap between the streets and stable housing. Orion has lived experience with housing insecurity and is a cancer survivor.
His experience with end-of-life care started while working at a memory care/nursing facility that offered palliative services. He volunteered for a short time at SAME Café, providing quality meals to those in need. Orion worked with HOPECycle as the shop manager and was able to raise just over 20k, furthering their mission to provide bicycles to underrepresented school children.
Orion brings his sense of service to the “unseen” and highly vulnerable, yet exceptionally deserving population that is Colorado’s unhoused.
Will serves the St. Francis Center on staff as a Peer Navigator with credentials as a Peer Recovery Coach.
Having overcome both homelessness and addiction, Will brings honesty and compassion to his field work with the marginalized communities of Denver.
He uses his lived experience and talent to transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness.
Heather Gasper started her career as a non-profit program manager, then transitioned to environmental consulting, and finally landed as a commercial real estate attorney.
She enjoys solving complex problems for her clients while having a relatable and approachable manner.
Heather brings her business and legal experience, attention to detail, and passion regarding alleviating loneliness to the Refuge.
Josh Geppelt is Vice President of Programs at the Denver Rescue Mission.
He has more than 20 years experience working with folks on the margins of society, in church, nonprofit, and board roles.
Josh is an ordained minister and brings strategic planning, nonprofit management and local government relations skills.
Bobbie Kite (she/her) is Associate Dean of Academic Operations and Affairs at University College, University of Denver.
Bobbie has served on our board since its founding in 2019. She has conducted research in competency based education within the field of health data analytics and informatics.
Bobbie brings collaborative academic and student resources from across educational institutions, especially from the University of Denver.
Muhammad Kolila is Imam of the Downtown Denver Islamic Center.
He has been a participant and speaker in educational and spiritual conferences and camps in the U.S., India, Egypt, and Lebanon. Imam Kolila focuses on building a sustainable and peaceful intercultural and inter-religious communication skills for students from all over the world.
Muhammad brings his passions as a community leader and activist in education, charity, peace building, interfaith partnerships, community development, and spirituality.
Miriah Nunnaley (she/her) serves in a nursing leadership role at a Colorado nonprofit providing trauma-informed care and services to unhoused individuals.
She has a decade of varied nursing experience including hospice and psychiatric nursing roles. Before nursing, Miriah supported a DoD software organization in various administrative and leadership roles with a focus on operations.
Supporting unhoused individuals is a calling Miriah fell into after her younger sister had a string of mental health and addiction crises that reshaped the way Miriah viewed priorities in her life. Her sister is doing great now.
Copyright © 2019-2023 Lazarus Gate dba Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care - All Rights Reserved.
Rocky Mountain Refuge for End of Life Care is a Colorado Non-Profit Corporation offering shelter for end-of-life care regardless of a person's race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.
Federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, Tax ID #83-3159392
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