FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 2, 2020
Caring for Denver Foundation Approves $5.6 Million in Grants to Support Community-Centered Solutions
Denver, CO – Caring for Denver Foundation, under leadership from Executive Director Lorez Meinhold and Board Chair State Representative Leslie Herod, recently approved 26 grants totaling more than $5.6 million for Denver organizations to strengthen community-centered solutions for mental health and substance misuse needs.
These grants promote innovative community-based mental health, and substance misuse supports that prioritize access, cultural relevance, and community collaboration. Grantees will provide supports accessible in places and spaces people live, know, visit, learn, and trust.
Through these efforts, Caring for Denver, in collaboration with community partners and agencies, will increase connections that reduce isolation and increase the use of mental health and substance misuse supports.
Caring for Denver and its partners designed this funding to meet people where they are and create impactful community solutions. Each funded organization is led either by persons with lived experience related to mental health and substance misuse or by members of the community the organization serves. Community members who will use these supports will inform or co-create each funded organization’s activities and services to ensure it works for them. Organizations will also utilize natural access points in the community and partner with formal care providers or crisis systems to identify higher-level needs.
- Benefits in Action
- The Center for African American Health
- Centro Humanitario
- CHARG Resource Center
- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
- Colorado Artists in Recovery
- Colorado Gerontological Society
- Colorado Village Collaborative
- D3 Arts
- Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
- Denver Public Library Friends
- The Don’t Look Back Center
- Envision: You
- The Gathering Place
- La Cocina
- Mirror Image Arts
- Montbello Organizing Committee
- Project Helping
- Sisters of Color United for Education
- Sober AF Entertainment
- Soul 2 Soul Sisters
- The Storytellers Project
- Think 360 Arts for Learning
- Youth Seen
“We’re incredibly eager to partner with the community on solutions that meet people where they are and reinforce their strengths. People recover in community – rarely do they recover in isolation,” said Lorez Meinhold, Executive Director.
“The mental health crisis in Denver, alongside the entire nation, has only been exacerbated by COVID19 — from the fear of getting the virus to the lack of physical contact with our friends and family, this virus is taking a toll on all of us. Caring for Denver funding will be transformative for tens of thousands of Denverites by providing tools and opportunities for the community to connect and cope together safely,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, Board Chair.
With robust input from more than 1,600 community residents, the Community-Centered Solutions priority area—along with three other priority funding areas: Alternatives to Jail, Youth, and Care Provision—were identified as the most immediate areas of need. Download the full strategic funding priorities report at caring4denver.org/about/reports.
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.
About Lorez Meinhold
Lorez Meinhold serves as the Executive Director of Caring for Denver Foundation. She brings over twenty years of implementation and policy experience as a director of multilateral initiatives involving the public, private, and civic sectors, working at the local, state, and national levels. Lorez has worked in many capacities integrating health programs addressing mental health and substance misuse needs, connecting early childhood and health communities, delivery and payment system reforms, and efforts that required statewide stakeholder engagement.
About Rep. Leslie Herod
Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod (D-Denver) was elected in 2016 as the first LGBTQ African American in the Colorado General Assembly. Since then, she has passed 52 bills, addressing criminal justice reform, mental health, addiction, youth homelessness, education, and civil rights protections. Herod championed the Caring for Denver Ballot measure and now serves as Chair of the Caring for Denver Foundation Board.