[December 4, 2023 – Denver, Colo.]: Caring for Denver Foundation announced more than $11.4 million in funding to community-based nonprofits that will fill gaps in mental health and substance misuse care, especially surrounding the need for a more diverse, accessible, and intentional workforce. The goal is to meet Denver’s higher demand for inclusive access to behavioral health care with services that reflect and affirm individuals’ needs and identities, while also supporting care providers.
“There is a higher demand for services that are relevant and accessible to our communities’ cultures and experiences,” said Lorez Meinhold, the foundation’s executive director. “These funded programs will increase connections and belonging and provide more care in trusted spaces, creating safe spaces for older adults, veterans, and diverse communities to heal in.”
The funding expands access to care for people of color, people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, people within the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and survivors of sexual assault, among others. It also includes funding to support care provider resiliency and training for community mental health providers, including direct clinical care and peer support.
Grantees are funded under Caring for Denver Foundation’s community-identified funding area, Community-Centered Solutions, outlined below.
Caring for Denver Foundation approved 33 grants totaling more than $11.4 million to community-based nonprofit organizations within the City and County of Denver in the Community-Centered Solutions priority area.
- Archway Communities– Hiring a full-time employee for the Mental Health and Substance Misuse Support project who will specialize in working with individuals with mental health and substance misuse needs at the Cornerstone Residences, a permanent supportive housing community.
- Ardent Grove Foundation– Increasing access to care by providing more opportunities for individuals to engage in individual therapy, and to expand the work of the trauma-informed therapy clinic including assessments to individuals who otherwise do not have the means for these evaluations.
- Aurora Mental Health and Recovery– Increasing access to culturally and linguistically responsive health navigation services for the diverse refugee and immigrant communities of Denver, including behavioral health screenings, behavioral health navigation, and case management to improve equity in mental health.
- Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver, Inc– Operating an evidence-based, best practice behavioral health program within Samaritan House to clinically address behavioral/mental health and substance misuse issues among unhoused participants, who are furthest from opportunity.
- City and County of Denver – Department of Public Health & Environment– Improving community outcomes by hiring a full-time employee to work across City and County of Denver agencies to further support the hiring and retention of a peer support workforce, which plays a critical role in providing emotional support, recovery resources, and system navigation.
- Colorado Artists in Recovery– Sustaining and extending this organization’s existing programs that provide arts classes for adults in recovery, including specific outreach to and expansion into Hispanic, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ communities in Denver.
- Colorado Black Health Collaborative– Providing mental health education, tools, resources, and peer support to Denver operators (barbers and stylists) who serve the Black Community. Operators are trusted members of the Black community who provide a trusted space where their clients often share mental health challenges.
- Community Economic Defense Project– Supporting a Wellness Recovery Navigator to enhance the services of those experiencing housing instability and/or homelessness—enrolled in this organization’s case management program—to recover from trauma, substance misuse, and other mental health challenges.
- Community Outreach Service Center Inc– Creating a peer network where clients work together to build a better community by developing the 5 Pillars of the organization: Housing, Employment, Basic Needs, Peer-to-Peer Support, and Community Wealth to create a pathway for all to emotional wellbeing.
- Conectoras de Montbello– Providing mental health and substance abuse awareness, community, and no-cost therapeutic services for low-income older adults in Montbello. Topics will be informed by participants’ needs and interests as well as data collected.
- Culinary Hospitality Outreach and Wellness Inc– Expanding resources for behavioral health navigation, increasing access to community-based mental health care, and deepening community-based educational partnerships.
- Denver Children’s Advocacy Center – In addition to maintaining its successful partnership with Re:Vision, the organization aims to expand efforts to train local resident leaders to cultivate meaningful relationships and connect families to mental health support.
- Denver Family Institute– Implementing a program to increase access to strength-based and client-centered care for Denver’s youth, and to shape the field of mental health to be more inclusive and affirming of LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
- Denver Health Foundation – Supporting the Transforming Health by Reducing Inequities for the Vulnerable (THRIVE) program to expand behavioral health care coordination services at Denver Health to improve treatment accessibility, particularly for high risk youth, patients experiencing homelessness, and justice-involved individuals.
- Face It Together Inc – Providing peer coaching to people who reside in the City and County of Denver, with a focus on reaching the LGBTQIA+ community. Together with partners, this organization will wrap individuals in the care and resources they need to get well.
- Friends of Denver Housing Authority– Supporting The Expressions Program, which serves low-income senior adults living in public housing. Group therapy activities in art, music, and other expressive modalities creatively work to break down long-held resistance to one-on-one counseling sessions by rethinking the paradigm of mental health services.
- Heartland Mental Health– Maintaining and growing this organization’s ability to support adults in Denver actively seeking recovery from serious mental illness through its member-led drop-in center, Heartland Clinic, support groups and group activities, peer specialist engagement, and expanded outreach.
- Housed Working and Healthy– Expanding this organization’s mental health and substance misuse care for housing-insecure job seekers by onboarding mental health specialists to expand and enhance programming.
- Jewish Family Service of Colorado– Strengthening the Mental Health Services department by hiring a full-time Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, providing both current and new medication-only clients with access to essential psychiatric medication support to achieve emotional wellness and stability.
- Khesed– Recruiting and supporting BIPOC-specialized therapists to provide culturally competent care to people with limited access to affordable care.
- La Cocina– Supporting Cultura Cura Belly, a Latine program integrating bilingual (Spanish-English) art-based, culturally affirming mental health services that serve as recovery and healing support for Latine birthing persons recovering from the impacts of trauma and antenatal/postnatal substance misuse.
- Latino Coalition for Community Leadership– Providing technical assistance and customized support to eight Caring for Denver Foundation grantees who represent and serve under-resourced communities to build their organizational capacity —including infrastructure and data management —for successful program implementation and sustainability.
- Latino Cultural Arts Center– Expanding Ofrendas (a celebration of Meso-American altar traditions) into a year-long program honoring our ancestors through raising awareness about mental wellness, multi-generational healing, and intercultural resilience through co-creation with local and international artisans.
- Latinx Therapist Project– Fostering a long-term increase in access to mental health and substance abuse care for Latinx individuals in Denver by creating a strong workforce development infrastructure focusing on recruitment of Latinx individuals into therapy fields, funding advocacy, educational, and employer initiatives.
- Para ti Mujer– Strengthening and expanding accessible recovery-based trauma and supportive peer mentoring programs, increasing access to in-house provisions of mental health care, case management, and resource navigation to Denver Latina mothers and families.
- Providence Network– Implementing a two-year program of transitional housing and wraparound services leveraging both clinical and peer support to alleviate substance misuse and improve mental health outcomes of residents. Graduates are provided ongoing resources to help ensure long-term stability.
- Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network– Providing mental health wrap-around services to immigrants receiving legal representation, with focused attention on those with behavioral health challenges, mental disabilities, substance misuse challenges, or other realities that make being detained and community settlement especially difficult.
- Rocky Mountain Human Services – Adding full-time peer support specialists and supporting a supervisor for this organization’s Homes for All Veterans program to provide high-quality care to address substance use and mental health challenges.
- Rooted 303 – Adding a full-time peer coach to provide individualized and group support for City and County of Denver residents impacted by substance use disorder and are ready to reclaim and rebuild their lives.
- Rose Andom Center – Continuing to improve and grow access to services available for survivors of intimate partner violence to address their mental health or substance use concerns by strengthening partnerships, continually improving the referral process, and addressing barriers for clients.
- Step Denver– Developing a residential peer recovery program built on the principles of sobriety, work, accountability, and community. Staff with lived experience help men with nowhere else to turn achieve long-term recovery, repair family relationships, build stability, and get their life back.
- Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center– Implementing the Drama v. Trauma program, which uses artistic productions and Chicano, Latinx and indigenous cultural resources and therapeutic partnerships to interrupt generational trauma and stimulate community healing.
- The Gathering Place– Advancing behavioral health equity by delivering low-barrier and trauma-informed navigation, recovery planning, and recovery-focused groups to eliminate barriers to behavioral health care for women, transgender, and non-binary people experiencing poverty and homelessness.
- Think 360 Arts for Learning– Increasing access to community-focused mental health supports for older adults through high-caliber arts engagement. The program inspires creativity, increases social connection, and improves mental well-being.
About Caring for Denver Foundation
Caring for Denver Foundation was founded and funded with overwhelming voter support to address Denver’s mental health and substance misuse needs by growing community-informed solutions, dismantling stigma, and turning the community’s desire to help into action. Guided by community input, the organization has funded more than $140 million in the areas of alternatives to jail, community-centered solutions, youth, and special initiatives since it began.