After Hours Denver ministry feeds anyone who needs a meal every day in Civic Center Park

Hundreds of meals given out everyday in park

DENVER - A bartender turned minister is reaching out to those living on the streets of Denver. This 7Everyday Hero tending to those often forgotten in Denver's Civic Center Park.

"You know our story, right? Every day at noon straight up.  We're here every single day.  So, if your travels take you by here and see us," said Rev. Jerry Herships to a passerby.

In the shadow of our State Capitol, as hundreds of Coloradans drive by, there is a ministry that pauses to lift up the less fortunate.

"This is After Hours Denver, a concept of the United Methodist Church," said Herships.

After Hours Denver is an alternative ministry, a ministry that goes to the people.

They meet in area bars to have casual conversations about God, love and hope. And every day at noon they are at Denver's Civic Center Park passing out everything but judgment.

"We're going to have food, coats, backpacks, sleeping bags, all kinds of awesome stuff.  So, it'll be really cool. Thanks for being here guys," Herships tells a crowd gathered.

The Reverend Jerry Herships leads After Hours Denver. Before becoming ordained he was an entertainer, a comedy writer and a bartender. So, he laughed when his pastor suggested the ministry.

"And to his credit he said: 'Maybe you're just the right guy. Maybe we need some folks who are just human and regular and admit they're just a train wreck most days,'" said Herships while laughing.

"Jerry is the most wonderful, giving man for a recovering comedian," said Don, a fellow volunteer.

"People like Jerry, we need more of them. You know, everyday heroes. You see he's dedicated his life to make a difference of those less fortunate," said Tyron, a fellow volunteer.

While the After Hours effort is faith based, Herships has attracted volunteers from all walks of life because, he says, everyone understands hunger.

"We've got people in our group with are agnostic who are like 'I'm not real sure where I stand on God', but I know I want to help people," said Herships.

"They've helped me get back on my feet, working again.  And they just helped me with a pair of boots so I can go out there and shovel snow and make some extra money," said Paul.

"It is something to keep people out of trouble.  We appreciate Jerry and the churches that help out immensely," said Clark.

Jerry Herships has helped turn an idea into a movement involving a wide range of volunteers, who together, provide 500 meals a week.

"We feel great, they feel great, people are getting a little bit of food, they're treated with dignity.  You know, that's not a bad day's work.  That's pretty good.  You could do worse than that," said Herships.

To learn more about After Hours Denver go to www.afterhoursdenver.org