As part of our capacity-building grant from the Piton Foundation, Hope Communities has hired two new staff to facilitate resource navigation, education, and career advancement programs for adults at the Gardens. One of them, Rada Moss, is the incoming manager of career services and will work closely with our CEO to develop and implement a program to provide assistance with career readiness, workforce training and job placement for residents and neighbors of Hope’s Park Hill property, The Gardens. Rada will coordinate efforts with the Program and Resource Navigation Team to ensure participants have the support they need to advance towards greater economic opportunity.
Hope believes strongly in helping our residents build economic self-sufficiency, and we provide programs to assist in resume writing, job training, and career search, along with coaching for home buying and ownership and financial literacy (see picture above). Our goal is to help our residents earn a livable wage and build economic stability. Thanks to the generosity of the Piton Foundation, we will be hiring more staff in the coming months who will further expand this program to create a stronger economic future.
Partnership with Bake the World a Better Place
In May, Hope began a partnership with Bake the World a Better Place, a Denver-based organization that teaches kitchen skills to low-income families. Every Tuesday, Chef Shane Saunders joins us at the Gardens to teach cooking to children -- with a focus on healthy cooking on a tight budget. The program has been a wild success, and the children love learning how to prepare fresh food. So far he has taught children to bake cookies for Mother's Day, and to make tomato, basil, and mozzarella skewers.
A Beautiful Day at Gardens of Hope
Some 40 energetic and enthusiastic “Schwabbies” showed up at The Gardens of Hope Communities on May 25 to paint, plant and generally beautify the exterior of our North Park Hill residential community. It was a part of the 15th annual Charles Schwab Volunteer Week. We loved seeing their community service ethic, and can't wait to see them again next spring! (Learn more about Charles Schwab’s commitment to community service here.)
STEM: Explore. Engage. Connect.
Staff and volunteers hosted 13 youth from Hidden Brook and The Gardens to the STEM: Explore. Engage. Connect Event on the Auraria Campus on March 10th. Participants witnessed a 3D printer in action, checked out a drone, played with virtual reality technology, and engaged with robot technology. Professionals from a variety of companies and organizations provided fun, interactive activities for all who attended. Children and youth from both properties interacted with one another, an example of Hope’s goal of social bonding across cultures and communities.
Renter to Home Buyers Classes
Hope partnered with Brothers Redevelopment to offer two Renter to Homebuyer classes in March. Class facilitators provided information about evaluating monthly spending plans, saving toward a down payment, comparing credit and financial services resources, the home purchase process, mortgage prequalification, housing searches and real estate contracts and forms. The classes were a hit with our residents and neighbors! Several of our residents have been able to move from renting an apartment at one of the Hope Communities’ properties to purchasing their own home. These classes facilitate the education and understanding of what is needed to move toward making a home purchase a reality.
Hip Hop Class
As a part of our Young Women's Empowerment Group at Hidden Brook, our staff have collaborated with local artists and volunteers to provide a wide range of creative activities. In the last two months we've held a hip hop dance class (pictured), along with slam poetry and Bollywood dancing. We have a dedicated group of four volunteers who engage with the girls weekly, and typically get between 6 and 14 girls to participate. More classes and activities are on the way and we're excited to share them with you as they happen.
Safe Kids, Strong Families Seminars
Hope Communities was awarded funds through the City and County of Denver to facilitate the prevention of child abuse and share strategies to build strong families. The seminars took place on April 18 at Hidden Brook and April 19 at The Gardens. At Hidden Brook, community members broke into language groups and discussed their needs and concerns for their families. Our facilitators, Amber Ivanova, Hidden Brook’s behavioral therapist from Maria Droste, and Marsha Brown, Denver Human Services’ Child Abuse Prevention Services Coordinator, then connected the community’s stated needs and concerns to family strengthening strategies from the Five Protective Factors Framework. At The Gardens, Dr. Jerry Yager of the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center led a lively discussion on child development, parenting challenges.
Annual Report & Financials
Hope Communities believes strongly in demonstrating integrity and transparency for how we operate. In April, we published our annual report and financials. By clicking on the image to the left you can download the annual report, which details the many programs, services, and activities we carried out to serve our residents at our various properties.
We also published our updated financials, which are available on our website. For any questions or for more information about this, please contact Joshua Foust.
Request for Donations
Hope Communities is collecting donated school supplies for children and teens who live in our communities around North Park Hill and East Colfax. Our goal is for all 189 school-aged youth to return to school this fall with a backpack full of grade-appropriate supplies so they can be successful in the upcoming school year.
No. 2 Pencils
Black & Blue Pens
Rulers & Protractors
And of course: BACKPACKS!
If you would like to donate some of these supplies, please contact our Manager of Community Impact, Maddy Lawson, either via email or at 720-593-4460.