ODM eMinute: They Have Become Family
August 4th, 2017
Bex Drake arrived as an intern on the Open Door block in October of 2001. She soon felt a calling to work with "street kids," which is what we call street-connected adults that became homeless when they were young. After returning to England, Bex came back to ODM in the spring of 2002 to develop a ministry that they named ArtZtudio, a place for "street kids" to come and practice their creative skills.
After years of volunteering with Open Door, Bruce Vlieger came on staff with ArtZtudio in December of 2007. Bruce and Bex were then able to go out on the streets on a daily basis to see their street-connected friends and invite them to the studio. In 2008 the name of the ministry changed to "Ezra," after Ezra the prophet who ministered to the exiled Israelites.
The more Bruce and Bex developed relationships with people on the streets, the more they saw a great need for employment. With a desire to address this problem, they morphed the studio into a t-shirt screen printing business in 2012. The name changed to Street2Life and they began employing street-connected people. It has been amazing to watch as some of the individuals Bruce and Bex have known for years are being restored to their productive capabilities and finding meaningful employment after working at S2L.
This August marks a new season as John Zolman and Jamie Rosenberry are now running the print shop. Bruce and Bex are excited to focus their energy on consistent outreach and discipleship with the many people they know on the streets. Bex describes the ministry well when she says, "These guys and gals have become family. They are not merely clients. To us, they're our community. We're starting to see the fruit of the last 15 years and the beauty of long-term relationships."
Street2Life is a full-fledged t-shirt print shop and we'd love to print your next t-shirt order! Learn more at street2life.com.
Open Door Ministries
PO Box 18018, Denver, CO 80218