RMHS encourages a strong community of services and supports for individuals with I/DD in Denver County. Mill levy funds support access and choice through a variety of community agencies and increases the number of community agencies from which individuals can choose as service providers.
Community Agencies Seeking Funding -
Currently Open for Applications
Rocky Mountain Human Services is pleased to announce funding opportunities for community organizations that provide unique and innovative services to Denver residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Each year, RMHS funds about two dozen organizations through its Community Initiatives program, supporting a broad spectrum of innovative services that are not otherwise funded by other programs or resources. Our high-priority areas are:
Housing Stability and Access
Training & Education, including employment
Increase Community Awareness (with an emphasis on underserved individuals and/or communities)
This year, the application deadline for this opportunity is Oct. 8, 2021.
Community Initiatives is made possible by the generous support of Denver taxpayers, who in 2003 overwhelmingly approved a one mill property tax levy to fund services and supports for people with I/DD. A mill is equal to one dollar in property taxes for each $1,000 in assessed property value. The so-called “mill levy” funding supports people with I/DD through a variety of RMHS-managed programs.
Please find below links to critical documents you need to apply for Community Initiative funding:
Mill Levy Funding Opportunity Announcement (Reference)
Mill Levy Funding Community Initiatives Policy (Reference)
Minimum Criteria and Technical Scoring Rubric (Reference)
Community Initiatives Proposal Template (Required)
Appendix A (Required)
Appendix B (Reference)
Current Contracted Community Initiatives
The Autism Community Center - All Ages
The Autism Community Store is a safe, friendly and inclusive space and an incredible resource for the autism community in Denver. It offers a place for support groups, social events, resource fairs, trainings and so much more. The center is designed to be an accepting, sensory-inclusive hub that builds bridges to the broader community. Contact Stephanie Webb at 303-309-3647 for more information.
Guided by Humanity - All Ages
Inclusive yoga opportunities offered by Guided By Humanity. The overall goal of this project is to support people to gain the tools necessary to guide their personal wellbeing. Contact Mary Sims at 303-437-9466 for more information.
Parent to Parent: Mile High Connections Matter - All Ages
Mile High Connections Matter, offered by Parent to Parent of Colorado, provides training for parents who want to learn the skills necessary to support other parents. Once trained, parents are matched with new parents looking for information and emotional support. Positive behavior support training designed for the parents of younger children is also available. Contact Lisa Franklin at 877-472-7201 for more information.
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition: Probate Power - All Ages
Resources and support with special needs planning from Probate Power, a program conducted by the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. Legal experts guide clients and families through all aspects of this often difficult and hard-to-navigate topic. Contact Chris Brock at 720-279-8233 for more information.
Tennyson Center: ASPEN and BRANCH programs - Ages birth to 18
The ASPEN and BRANCH programs offered by Tennyson Center, are designed for children with I/DD who are survivors of trauma, abuse or neglect. The goal of these important services is to empower children and support them to safely change their life stories. Contact the Tennyson Admissions Department at 303-731-4845 for more information.
Thrive Autism Collaborative - Ages 6 months to 2 1/2 years
Thrive Autism Collaborative has been piloting a new model of parent coaching in Parent-Mediated Early Start Denver Model (P-ESDM) designed for unable to access P-ESDM through publicly funded early intervention programs. This year's pilot is bringing that training to therapists and providers working with families. Allowing for broader access and enabling these providers to reach far more families than previous workshops allowed. Contact Laurie Vismara at 404-290-6694 for more information.
Laradon Family, Infant and Toddler Program - Ages 1 to 5
Experts from the Family, Infant and Toddler (FIT) Program at Laradon can connect families to resources in their community with the overall goal of reducing family stress. This project focuses on the basic needs of a children so parents are better able to support their children’s overall needs. Contact Perla Manquero at 303-901-7292 for more information.
Rise School of Denver - Ages 1 to 5
The LEAP Preschool Framework reflects a behavioral and developmentally appropriate approach to teaching children with and without disabilities in inclusive early childhood environments. This framework is being adopted to the Rise School of Denver to scale up and sustain program-wide inclusion. Contact Jackie Joseph at 303-756-7473 for more information.
THRIVE Center: 3 To 5 Program - Ages 3 to 5
THRIVE Center supports parents whose children are preparing to enter the school system. In order to facilitate ease of access, the trainings will occur at a preschool during the typical pickup times. Training topic examples include navigating special education, behavior is communication, how to advocate for your child, making friends, transitions from pre-k to kindergarten and components of an IEP. Contact Yvette Burkhalter at 303-632-6840 ext. 101 for more information.
Connect Us - Ages 3 to 18
Through after-school groups, recess facilitation and camps, Connect Us fosters social inclusion, supports friendship building and teaches leadership skills for preschool and elementary-age youth. Contact Stephanie Schiff at 303-807-1836 for more information.
Ability Connections: Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program - Ages 13 to 25
The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), offered by Ability Connection, provides a mentoring and life-skills program, which offers career-focused mentoring for transitional age youth with I/DD and foster care youth. RAMP serves youth in two ways; one with a series of 4-6 weeklong summer intensive program and two in a yearlong program for youth in targeted Denver Schools. Contact Kelsey Atkinson at for more information.
THRIVE Center: Project Independence - Ages 14 to 21
Project Independence is a training program for parents and youth with I/DD offered by THRIVE Center. The project provides two strands of trainings: One strand for youth (14-21) and the other for the participating youths parents. Training topic examples include transition on the IEP, person-centered planning, disability planning, employment, college and living independently. Parents are then able to better understand the nature of their child’s disability and the resources available to support a successful school experience and post-secondary life for their child. Likewise, youth can better understand their educational, developmental and transitional needs resulting in successful postsecondary outcomes. Contact Yvette Burkhalter at 303-632-6840 ext. 101 for more information.
ACEConnect: Passport to Independence - Ages 14 to 21
The Passport to Independence project uses community-based instruction to assist students in gaining self-determination and independent living skills. The goal of this program of Denver Public Schools is to help youth set and achieve their post-secondary and independent living goals as they transition out of high school to live an active life within their community. Contact Nicole Franchino or Courtney Kallas at 720-423-2077 for more information.
Teaching the Autism Community Trades (TACT) - Ages 14 to 30
The mission of TACT is to encourage and empower the full spectrum of individuals with autism through education and employment in skilled trades. TACT’s programs increase student’s proficiency and confidence in their marketable interests which lead to employable jobs and lasting careers. Career tracks programming and camps/individual lessons. Contact Becky Mershon at 303-295-0163 for more information.
REVEL: Lounge and Mentor Program – Ages 14 and up
The REVEL Lounge offers an environment where people with and without disabilities can connect, work, learn, build relationships and thrive together. There are also opportunities for individualized behavior therapy in a variety on non-traditional settings from the REVEL Supports program. Contact Gabby Lauder at 720-534-0601 for more information.
Financial Health Institute: Transitioning Young Adults Program - Ages 16 to 25
The Transitioning Young Adults (TYA) Program is designed to enhance awareness of the multiple domains of adult life, encourage practice of essential life skills and provide opportunities for the participants to make lasting improvements in their state of physical, mental and social well-being. The TYA program utilizes digital technology to build upon participant’s familiarity with technology to enhance personal economics Contact Michael Kilgore at 303-204-3144 for more information.
Jovial Concepts: Garden Program – Ages 16 and up
Garden-based programming through Jovial Concepts is designed to utilize garden classrooms for individuals with I/DD to learn and engage in job training and learn valuable life and workable skills in “seed to table” programming. Opportunities include growing produce, harvesting crops, nutritional planning and learning to make healthy meals all the while engaging socially for their overall well-being. Contact Kristina Welch for more information.
Access Gallery – Ages 18 and up
Access Gallery engages the community by opening doors to creative, educational and economic opportunities for people with I/DD to access, experience and benefit from the arts. Access Gallery supports young adults and artists with I/DD in their efforts to integrate into the community and work force through the medium of visual arts. Contact Cris Ciani at 303-777-0797 for more information.
Financial Health Institute: ResourceAbility – Ages 18 and up
Financial Health Institute has defined “financial health” as the dynamic relationship of one’s financial and economic resources as they are applied to or impact the state of physical, mental and social well-being. ResourceAbility is designed to support adults with I/DD, case managers and caregivers. The “Financial Health” and “More Than A Job” classes offered are designed to provide opportunities to develop strategies to manage resources, reduce stress and improve overall health. Contact Michael Kilgore at 303-204-3144 for more information.
Easterseals: IPS Supported Employment – Ages 18 and up
The IPS Supported Employment project is a pilot program run by Easterseals, aimed at tackling the historically low employment rates for individuals with I/DD. It is designed to teach vital job skills, increase employment opportunities, and help those employed, stay employed. Contact Kim Berg at 303-886-7965 for more information.
Laradon: Enhanced Behavioral Services – Ages 18 and up
Behavioral services offered by Laradon provide support beyond Medicaid-defined services. The services are specifically designed for adults who are dually diagnosed and include crisis support, training and consultation. This project is aimed at identifying and bridging the gaps in funding support for addressing these needs, to insure individuals get the highest level of support. Contact Ted Hubbard at 720-974-6883 for more information.
Laradon and Mental Health Center of Denver: Mental Health Collaborative - Ages 18 and up
Laradon and the Mental Health Center of Denver are working together on a pilot program designed to improve communication between mental health and I/DD service providers and offer cross-system services. With mental health services for adults with I/DD being a long-standing area of need, this partnership sets out to increase cross-cultural competency and increase the availability of providers able to work within this population. Contact Lynette Johnson or Ted Hubbard at 720-974-6883 for more information.
Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities: Mission Supports Program – Ages 18 and up
Support and assistance for people with I/DD who are at risk of, or currently experiencing homelessness to achieve stability. Through collaboration with the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, Mission Supports provides intensive case management and support in navigating the eligibility process for I/DD services. Contact Arnie Swenson at 720-772-5724 for more information.
Activity Options: Project World – Ages 18 and up
Opportunities to explore Colorado and beyond with Project World, a program of Activity Options. This project offers a variety of small group weekend, evening and community experiences and travel opportunities that are inclusive and safe. Contact Peggy Berry at 303-358-2592 for more information.
The Wayfaring Band – Ages 18 and up
The Wayfaring Band provides support, builds awareness and fosters genuine connection among diverse communities through education, socialization and transformative travel. The all-inclusive travel experiences offer real world opportunities to practice independent living skills, build relationships, develop capacity to make choices and self-advocate. Contact Andrea Moore at 720-515-1596 for more information.