Denver, CO

Denver awards $1 million to neighborhood programs

Margaret Jackson

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By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Seven Denver community development programs received $150,000 each to deliver grassroots support to underserved neighborhoods and disadvantaged small businesses.

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) received 46 applications for the city’s annual Community Development Block Grant funding cycle.

This year, DEDO requested proposals with a program budget of at least $150,000 and programs serving residents in one or more of the agency’s priority neighborhoods: Globeville, Elyria/Swansea, Northeast Park Hill, Montbello, East Colfax, Westwood, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park and West Colfax.

“Awarding federal dollars to local organizations brings a profound pleasure in knowing that the city’s thoughtful stewardship results in tangible and positive differences for people,” DEDO Executive Director Jen Morris said. “These grants strongly embody our values of economic equity and inclusion, and as diverse as these seven projects are, they all exist to lift up Denver residents and improve the quality of their lives.”

Organizations and programs receiving the grants include:

  • Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC): Music Without Barriers. CNDC will work with El Sistema Colorado’s Music without barriers program to provide free string instruments and immersive youth education programs to students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
  • The Fax Partnership: East Colfax Thrives. The neighborhood initiative is working to designate East Colfax between Monaco and Yosemite as a cultural district that preserves the area's multicultural community.
  • Groundwork Denver: Youth Employment and Career Exploration. Groundwork Denver and Environmental Learning for Kids are launching a pilot program to provide job skill development, employment and career exploration for low-income, racially diverse youth.
  • La Raza Services Inc.: Employment Support. The program includes navigation for emergency services, behavioral health, peer support assistance, health/public benefits acquisition, enrollment and financial literacy.
  • Mi Casa Resource Center: Business Pathways. The program serves under-resourced aspiring and existing business owners with bilingual consulting, technical skills and legal and financial counseling.
  • Montbello Organizing Committee: Montbello Solutions. Making referrals and expanding existing programs to an interlaced set of programs from four area nonprofits, including Montbello Solutions Group Services, Struggle of Love Foundation, Athletics & Beyond and Families Against Violent Acts.
  • West Community Economic Development Corp.: Southwest Denver Business and Culture Preservation. This collaboration will preserve and strengthen two of Denver’s most culturally rich business districts — Morrison Road and South Federal/Little Saigon.

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