Rocky Mountain Human Services and Denver Agree to 2018-2020 Contract for Denver Residents
Property Tax-Funded Contract Supports Case Management, Services and Individual Needs Requests for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Denver City Council approved a new contract with Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) to continue to help Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) access the services they need to thrive at home and in their communities. The $37.5 million contract between RMHS and the Denver Department of Human Services (DHS) is for July 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2020.
A Denver ordinance directs a portion of Denver property taxes (one mill) to support services for Denver residents with I/DD. Most property tax funds from that mill levy are directed to RMHS to support services provided by community agencies, providers and family members, as well as RMHS.
This new contract represents a major shift in how mill levy funds are used and accounted for. Before 2017, most mill levy funding helped cover the monthly gap between the money received from other revenue sources, such as private insurers, Medicaid and the state of Colorado. Because RMHS serves Denver and non‐Denver residents, DHS and RMHS have worked together since 2017 to develop new services and supports, as well as to better identify the costs of services directly attributable to only Denver residents so mill levy funds can be used appropriately.
“RMHS is honored to serve Denver residents with I/DD and their families, and we strive to be a good steward of taxpayer funds through transparency and fiscal responsibility,” said Shari Repinski, RMHS executive director. “We have a strong partnership with DHS and have worked collaboratively to draft a contract that will ensure the continuity of high‐quality case management and direct services for the next two and a half years.”
In 2017, mill levy collections equaled $14.5 million, of which $10.5 million was directed to RMHS to help nearly 4,600 people with I/DD and fund 1,080 providers and family members who provide services to those people. Read the 2017 RMHS Mill Levy Annual Report.
The new contract allocates a maximum amount to RMHS of $8.5 million for the remainder of 2018, bringing the total mill levy funding for 2018 to $16 million. It also allocates $14 million for 2019, and $15 million for 2020.
For the last half of 2018, the contract continues two innovative programs to support people with I/DD.
It allocates $2.5 million to support other community organizations through contracts with RMHS. More than 1,200 people have received services through these organizations, including educational and supportive services for school-age children with severe behavioral and other needs; entrepreneurial education to young people; and opportunities for parents of infants and toddlers to meet other parents while their children develop social skills in therapeutic play settings.
It also provides $2.4 million to help individuals with unique needs through personal requests. Examples of these requests include home modifications to accommodate a disability, permanent housing, trade school tuition, medical and dental needs, and respite care. Since 2016, RMHS has directed $8 million toward filling requests for individual needs, and we look forward to continuing this program. Learn how these funds have helped people like Evergreen, Brennan and Mikee.
About $3.5 million for the last half of 2018 supports enhanced RMHS services, such as service coordination, early intervention for children from birth to age 3 with developmental delays, and adult behavioral health and supported living services.
RMHS must meet nearly 40 performance measures and conduct regular satisfaction surveys to gather feedback from the people and families it serves, as well as hold four Community Advisory Committee meetings a year and at least one annual event to provide a mill levy update and receive input. So far in 2018, RMHS has held two such events.
After the Denver Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee unanimously recommended approval on June 13, the Denver City Council approved the contract at its June 18 meeting and a companion ordinance at its June 25 meeting.
To learn more about RMHS mill levy funding and programs, visit www.rmhumanservices.org/ml.