Caring For Denver Foundation Reaches $100 Million Milestone in Grants Awarded to Denver Nonprofits

More than 200 mental health and substance misuse organizations have received funding during the foundation’s first three years of grant-making

DENVER, Colo., April  6, 2023 – Caring for Denver Foundation today announced it has awarded more than $109 million in grants to 218 unique community-based organizations, schools, and agencies over the past three years. Founded by Denver voters through a 2018 ballot initiative and funded by Denver sales tax dollars, Caring for Denver Foundation provides financial support for programs and services that address Denver’s mental health and substance misuse needs.

Caring for Denver Foundation grants funding on a tri-annual basis to support organizations that support alternatives to jail, community-centered solutions, and youth. Caring for Denver works collaboratively with the  community to identify programs and services to support which are then approved by the foundation’s 13 board members, all of whom are appointed by the Mayor, District Attorney, and City Council. On March 20, Caring for Denver Foundation approved 36 grants totaling more than $11.7 million to community-based nonprofit organizations within the City and County of Denver in the youth focus area. The full list can be found here.

“Community-driven care leads to both better access and improved outcomes. In just the past year, more than 311,000 Denverites learned about or used services as a result of our grantees work,” shared Lorez Meinhold, Caring for Denver Foundation executive director. “That number is four-times the capacity of Empower Field at Mile High. In addition, our grantees reported for those served, a 71 percent reduction in substance misuse, a 76 percent improvement in mental health, and 94 percent did not enter or return to incarceration and instead were connected to mental health and substance misuse care.”

Caring for Denver Foundation collaborates with community members on every aspect of its grantmaking efforts including identifying priorities, shaping calls for proposals, reviewing applications, and identifying success metrics. This methodology is based on the philosophy that each unique community best understands its own needs and how to formulate a solution. The foundation is dedicated to supporting diversity, delivering innovative and impactful care models, and inviting collaboration amongst communities and providers.

“Funding provided by the Caring for Denver Foundation has allowed city agencies including the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) to provide innovative programs like STAR, Co-Responders, Wellness Winnie, Forensic Peer Navigators, and many more,” says Bob McDonald, executive director of DDPHE and the Public Health Administrator for Denver. “The unique partnership between DDPHE and the Caring for Denver Foundation has ensured that these dollars quickly and effectively reach the most impacted communities, bolstered by a shared commitment to equity and community engagement.”

Caring for Denver Foundation will fund two additional rounds of grants during the 2023 fiscal year. Grantees that focus on alternatives to jail will be announced in July and community-centered solutions  grants will be awarded in November. 

For more information and to apply for a grant, visit caring4denver.org


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 $100 million in the areas of alternatives to jail, care provision, community-centered solutions, youth, and special initiatives since it began.