6 Groups Working to Strengthen Denver Communities

People in Colorado pride themselves on being good neighbors, and each of these organizations does its part to make sure essential services are offered to all residents. Whether it's protecting parks and historic sites or providing food and educational services to those in need, these groups are a major part of why Denver is such a great place to live. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Valuable Community Organizations in Denver

Name Focus
Civic Center Conservancy Works in collaboration with the city and county to preserve the park and sponsor its many cultural events
SAME Cafe So All May Eat is the first non-profit restaurant in Denver, operating on a pay-what-you-can model
Back on My Feet National organization that combats homelessness and addiction in 13 cities using running to restore confidence while connecting members to training, employment, and housing
Rose Community Foundation Provides grants and funds initiatives to improve quality of life for citizens through a commitment to Jewish values like justice and nondiscrimination
Historic Denver Advocates for the preservation of historically-important sites throughout the city and provides resources for neighborhood residents
African Community Center Offers a wide range of resettlement, employment, and integration programs for refugees and other immigrants

The Transformative Power of Back on My Feet

Denver Statistical Snapshot

Metric Result
Estimated population 700,000+
Foreign-born population 15.8%
Median gross rent $1,131
Persons aged 25+ with bachelor's degree or higher 46.5%
Median household income $60,098
Median age 34.5
Poverty rate 15.1%
Home ownership rate 50.1%
Police officers per 1,000 residents 2.09
Number of grocery stores per 10,000 people 1.8
Unemployment rate 3%
Adult diabetes rate 4.9%
Adult obesity rate 16.3%

The Values of the African Community Center of Denver

In Depth

Located near the Rocky Mountains, the city of Denver enjoys a vibrant culture, replete with impressive outdoor opportunities and lively urban areas. With so many attractive offerings, the capital of Colorado is home to numerous organizations that help residents and visitors navigate the Mile High City. If you are interested in learning more about their work, then here are, in no particular order, six groups working to strengthen Denver communities.

At #1 is the Civic Center Conservancy, established in 2004. Committed to preserving public spaces, the Civic Center Conservancy is a group of private citizens working in collaboration with the City and County of Denver to improve its historic namesake park, which spans twelve acres. It focuses its work in four main areas: advocacy, events and programs, public awareness and engagement, and fundraising.

Specific events sponsored by the Conservancy include its Art in the Park program, which features a fabric installation in 2019, and Civic Center Eats, an outdoor cafe showcasing Denver's finest food trucks. In recognition of its stewardship, it has received a Colorado Preservation award, and the green space itself has been designated by City Parks Alliance as a "Frontline Park." If you are interested in supporting this nonprofit, you can inquire about volunteer opportunities or become a member to receive benefits like discounts on commemorative items and exclusive park tours.

Specific events sponsored by the Conservancy include its Art in the Park program, which features a fabric installation in 2019, and Civic Center Eats, an outdoor cafe showcasing Denver's finest food trucks.

Coming in at #2 is SAME Cafe. Opened in 2006 as the first non-profit restaurant in Denver, the cafe's name stands for "so all may eat." Accordingly, it operates on a pay-what-you-can model, with a unique daily menu that often features food from other local like-minded gardeners and organizations. With an emphasis on respect and dignity for all, SAME Cafe strives to strengthen the community through equitable access to food.

Beyond serving lunch six days a week, SAME Cafe has expanded its reach by unveiling its very own food truck. Aiming to make its mission mobile, the truck will bring healthy meals to food deserts and educate people in the community about topics like food insecurity. Because volunteers are so integral to its functioning, those who wish to support SAME Cafe can lend a hand by walk-in or pre-scheduled volunteering opportunities. Other ways to help include donating food or money or attending its annual gala.

In the #3 spot is Back on My Feet, operating in thirteen major cities across the United States including Denver. Targeting people at shelters or treatment facilities, Back on My Feet uses the act of running to empower individuals and combat homelessness and addiction. In the beginning, members commit to running a certain number of mornings. After meeting this milestone, they progress to Next Steps, which provides financial literacy classes and job training programs, with the ultimate goal of achieving independence.

After meeting this milestone, they progress to Next Steps, which provides financial literacy classes and job training programs, with the ultimate goal of achieving independence.

Back on My Feet boasts an impressive list of impact statistics. Overall, members have run over 942,000 miles, and after ninety days, 86% report feeling more satisfied with their lives. The organization has teamed up with corporate partners like Bank of America, Cigna, and Accenture to offer its members hard and soft skills to better their employment prospects. Those who want to learn more about Back on My Feet can attend one of its events or sign up to raise money through one of its "fundracing" efforts.

At #4 is Rose Community Foundation. Established in 1995 from the proceeds of the sale of Rose Medical Center, the foundation strives to improve the quality of life for residents of Denver through leadership, philanthropy, and a commitment to Jewish values like justice and nondiscrimination. Taking a collaborative approach to its work, the nonprofit partners with other foundations and nonprofits, donors, and government agencies.

Rose Community Foundation focuses its funding in five key areas: aging, child and family development, education, health, and Jewish life. Its grantmaking department seeks to fund nonprofits committed to lasting change in the Greater Denver community, and since its founding, it has made grants totaling more than 225 million dollars. Furthermore, it creates and leads initiatives of its own, like Boomers Leading Change, which empowers adults over fifty to drive social change. If you want to support Rose Community Foundation, you can make a donation online.

Rose Community Foundation focuses its funding in five key areas: aging, child and family development, education, health, and Jewish life.

Coming in at #5 is Historic Denver. Founded in 1970 as part of an effort to save the Molly Brown House, today this nonprofit works to preserve and protect historic places throughout the city. Taking a multi-faceted approach, Historic Denver seeks to honor the past while planning for the future by protecting local communities and spreading the word about the city's rich architectural history.

Besides advocating for the preservation of culturally important sites, Historic Denver also maintains a robust educational program. With the hopes of spreading information and galvanizing citizens into action, the organization runs a number of walking tours around locations like 16th Street and Capitol Hill. In addition, it provides resources for building owners and neighborhood residents, with information on homeowner education workshops, easements, and the Historic Denver Action Fund. Those who are interested in getting involved with this nonprofit can become members, gaining access to unique and exclusive events.

In the #6 spot is the African Community Center of Denver, formed in 2001 by the Ethiopian Community Development Council. Serving more than 1,700 refugees, asylees, and other immigrants each year, ACC helps its clients forge safe, meaningful existences in the Denver area. Committed to the values of belonging, empathy, imagination, and integrity, ACC has grown from a modest staff of three when it was founded to over thirty-five multilingual employees today.

Serving more than 1,700 refugees, asylees, and other immigrants each year, ACC helps its clients forge safe, meaningful existences in the Denver area.

Specific components of the African Community Center's work include resettlement efforts, employment services, and integration programs. Its resettlement services are typically offered for up to three months and provide things like housing assistance and a cultural orientation class, which familiarizes newly-arrived individuals with the Denver area. Meanwhile, ACC's employment services work with clients for up to five years after they arrive in the United States. If you want to learn more about the African Community Center of Denver or support its mission, consider attending one of its Welcome Walks or purchasing items created in its "We Made This" training program.