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Building Community – RMHS Announces 2020 Mill Levy-Funded Initiatives

Each year Rocky Mountain Human Services dedicates a portion of its mill levy funding to support an array of unique services and supports for Denver.

Nicole Vanston poses with her work at Access Gallery.

Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) is excited to announce the 2020 organizations receiving mill levy funding to provide unique services to Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For the 2020 project cycle, RMHS is providing more than $3M of mill levy funding to 27 projects offered by 23 organizations, including seven new projects.

RMHS receives a portion of property tax revenue, or mill levy funding, from Denver Human Services to support individual needs, enhance RMHS programs and provide funding to people, organizations and businesses that have unique programs for Denver residents with I/DD. This is part of RMHS’ commitment to supporting a strong community of services and supports for people with I/DD. These external initiatives facilitate access and choice, and increase options for Denver residents with I/DD and their families to achieve their goals.

The RMHS Mill Levy department staff work closely with the RMHS Community Advisory Council to set priorities for funding initiatives and review all the proposals submitted.

The 2020 mill-levy funded initiatives are:

  • Inclusive yoga opportunities and nutrition and cooking classes offered by Guided By Humanity. The overall goal of this project is to support people in gaining the tools necessary to guide their personal wellbeing.

  • The Autism Community Center at 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.

  • 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.

  • Services from Tennyson Center, 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.

  • Experts from the Family, Infant and Toddler (FIT) Program who can connect families to resources in their community with the overall goal of reducing family stress. Offered by Laradon, this project focuses on the basic needs of children so parents are better able to support their children’s overall needs.

  • The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), offered by Ability Connection, provides a peer-oriented and supportive environment designed to foster successful transitions to employment, continued learning opportunities and independent living.

  • Access Gallery engages the community by opening doors to creative, educational and economic arts opportunities for adults with I/DD.

  • 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.

  • Support and assistance for people with I/DD who are at risk or currently experiencing homelessness. Mission Supports is a program of the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, which has a goal of helping people achieve stability through intensive case management and navigating the eligibility process for I/DD services.

  • 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 ACE Connect is to help youth set and achieve their post-secondary and independent living goals as they transition out of high school.

  • The IPS Supported Employment project is in its second year of a pilot program run by Easter Seals. It is designed to increase employment opportunities for people with I/DD, and help them retain those positions.

  • The Transitioning Young Adults Program utilizes technology to support people in increasing their awareness and making lasting improvements to their overall physical, mental and social wellbeing. Offered by the Financial Health Institute, this project utilizes a classroom curriculum designed to make best use of Generation Z’s technology skills.

  • A Financial Health Training Program designed to support adults with I/DD, case managers and caregivers. The “Financial Health” and “More Than A Job” classes offered by the Financial Health Institute teach valuable skills which have an overall positive impact on the entire community.

  • Garden-based programming through Jovial Concepts designed to provide job training while cultivating life and work skills, social emotional engagement, and tools for independence and wellbeing.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Tools for Life program focuses on empowering adults with I/DD to take control of their lives by developing and practicing social skills leading to greater choice and self-determination in social situations. This program, conducted by Jewish Family Service, also provides coaching sessions for parents and caregivers.

  • Trade and technical training designed for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder through T.A.C.T. The overall goal is to increase the proficiency of each person’s marketable interests before they leave school, imparting skills and workplace preparation to increase future employment opportunities and success.

  • 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.

  • Through after-school groups, recess facilitation and camps, Connect Us fosters social inclusion, supports friendship building and teaches leadership skills for pre-school and elementary-age youth.

  • Anchor Center for Blind Children seeks to support safety and wellbeing in families through the Family Respite Care Program and Caring Hands Transport, LLC. Services include respite care, which provides parents and caregivers opportunities to enjoy a short break while feeling confident that their children are well-cared for by skilled staff, and free transportation to and from Anchor Center during the school day.

  • Mile High Connections Matter project offered by Parent to Parent of Colorado offers 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.

  • 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.

  • Project Independence is a training program for parents, youth and teens with I/DD offered by THRIVE Center. The project works to achieve successful post-secondary outcomes by providing information and skills related to educational, developmental and transitional needs such as IEPs, employment and independent living.

  • 3 to 5 is a training program designed by THRIVE Center to support 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.

  • Thrive Autism Collaborative is 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. The pilot offers a more feasible and affordable telehealth model enabling more families to access and benefit from the P-ESDM.

  • 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.

To learn more about the RMHS mill levy program, visit www.rmhumanservices.org/ml

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Tel: 303-636-5600

9900 E. Iliff Ave.

Denver, CO 80231

Rocky Mountain Human Services