From Surviving to Thriving: Accessing the Mill Levy Program to Support your “New Normal”
We’ve all experienced it. The changes we’ve seen this year have created a new definition of normal. Rocky Mountain Human Services’ Mill Levy program has been acting and reacting in real time to adapt services and meet these new needs.
RMHS hosted a community forum on Oct. 14th to explore our “new normal” services and explain how we have adapted to support Denver residents with developmental delays or intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Community members, advocates and community partners joined the meeting to learn more about available services and supports and provide feedback to RMHS about their personal experiences with the Mill Levy program. The Mill Levy team shared how the program increases access to services, meets individualized needs and offers flexible services and provider options.
RMHS is able to offer this flexible support through the Mill Levy program by virtue of generous support from Denver taxpayers, who in 2003 voted overwhelmingly to tax themselves to support people with I/DD. They approved a dedicated one mill property tax levy to fund services and supports for people with I/DD. A mill equals $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
Both children and adults may access mill levy funds either through a service plan or individual request. If you are supported by RMHS, you can apply through your service coordinator. If you are not receiving case management services through RMHS you can visit www.rmhumanservice.org/ml to apply online.
Requests and needs have changed since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March, and RMHS has worked to adapt to the needs of the community by:
Moving all evaluations and services to telehealth, and using mill levy funding to purchase tablets and devices for families who identified the lack of a communications device as a barrier. The extra support was able to help families increase access to remote learning and telehealth services.
Partnering with Autism Community Store, a mill levy-funded partner, to send “Boredom Buster” packages to people supported by RMHS. They included fun indoor and outdoor activities to help people supported push back feelings of isolation.
Working with community partners to lead the way in the technology shift. Financial Health Institute, a mill levy-funded partner, presented its plan to create a new program called “Thriving in a Virtual World.” It’s intended to create a safe, engaging and supportive space for the Denver I/DD community to gain access, familiarity and comfort in the digital space.
As the world continues to change and adapt, the RMHS Mill Levy program will continue to be a flexible resource for Denver residents with developmental delays and disabilities.