News (Noticias)

Continuing the Work- RMHS Announces 2021 continued Mill Levy-Funded Initiatives

RMHS announces the 2021 community initiatives.

Guided by Humanity staff
Guided by Humanity staff in the GBH studio.

Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) is pleased to announce it will continue supporting community initiatives in 2021 with 26 partners who provide unique services and activities for Denver residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

The partners are funded through the RMHS Mill Levy program, which is devoting more than $3 million to those initiatives. RMHS announced a one- year extension to 25 of last year’s providers that were able to adapt their scopes of work within the COVID-19 environment. One additional project was awarded this month. RMHS celebrates new community partners through the program, which is funded by the generous support of Denver taxpayers who in 2003 overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure levying a property supporting Denver residents with I/DD.

“The Mill Levy program funds community initiatives that provide tons of unique and creative services and support for the I/DD community in Denver,” said Amy Becerra, Mill Levy Director at RMHS.

Initiatives funded by the Mill Levy program meet the needs of Denver residents with an I/DD in a variety of service areas. The RMHS Mill Levy department staff work closely with the RMHS Community Advisory Council to set priorities for funding initiatives and the selection process. These funding priorities are used to categorize and describe mill levy funding. Priority areas include:

  • Basic Needs/ Environmental Supports

  • Behavioral and Mental Health Services

  • Education and Increasing Independence

  • Social and Recreational services

  • Training and Support

  • I/DD System Gaps and Assistance across other systems

Many of the initiatives adapted services to meet the needs of Denver residents during the global coronavirus pandemic. As the events of 2020 unfolded, the CAC recommended and RMHS adopted an additional priority area to include an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The CAC helped create DEI standards so services are more accessible to all members of the community. The CAC is an invaluable source of community input to the RMHS Mill Levy program.

“The CAC has an opportunity to recommend priorities that are important and impact the I/DD community, as well as review and recommend Mill Levy initiatives,” said Pamela Bisceglia, Executive Director at AdvocacyDenver and member of the CAC.

The adaptations created more resilient and relevant ways for each of the initiatives to meet the needs of the people served.

The initiatives receiving continued funding in 2021 are:

  • 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 those 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. This will allow broader access and enable providers to reach 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 children so parents are better able to support overall needs. Contact Perla Manquero at 303-901-7292 for more information.