Hope Communities' Quarterly Newsletter
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Hope Communities Awarded $350,000 Capacity-Building Grant to Focus on Family Self-Sufficiency

We are excited to announce program expansion at Hope Communities' North Park Hill property, The Gardens.

In an effort to improve the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families, Hope Communities is partnering with 
Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation. As part of this partnership, Gary Community Investments is providing Hope Communities with $350,000 to increase its capacity to generate economic opportunity for hundreds of families living in and around Hope’s affordable housing communities.

Institutional capacity will be strengthened, more robust evaluation systems will be created, and, most importantly, enhanced programs and services following the two-generation model (to meet the needs of children and adults simultaneously) will be implemented to best serve the hundreds of low-income individuals living at Hope Communities.

In particular, Hope Communities will be able to offer a comprehensive workforce development program by strengthening relationships with local businesses, providing job training and workforce readiness assistance, and helping to find job placements that offer not only a career path but a livable and family-sustaining wage.

“This investment will enable us to create innovative programs to break the cycle of poverty for families. The programs will be evidence-based to incorporate the brightest ideas from across the country, but also resident-informed. Community members will help to shape the programs to ensure they truly meet their needs and create the impact we intend,” said Sharon Knight, Hope’s President & CEO.

Kelly Kaminskas, Chair of Hope Communities’ Board of Directors, extended her appreciation on behalf of the board. “Gary Community Investment’s commitment to improve the lives of low-income children and families is quite evident. Their dedication to economic opportunity for all is inspiring and will surely make a lasting impact in the community.”

Founded by Denver oilman Sam Gary, Gary Community Investments is committed to investing in for-profit and philanthropic solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families.

Through this partnership, Hope Communities and Gary Community Investments hope to provide positive and sustainable economic outcomes for over 1,000 children and adults, from higher rates of school attendance to increased academic achievement, from career training to home-ownership and beyond.

About Gary Community Investments

Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation, invests in for-profit and philanthropic solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families. It was founded by Denver oilman Sam Gary with the belief that business and philanthropy can—and should—work together to create opportunities for those who need it most. Gary Community Investments is committed to investing in quality early childhood and youth development systems, expanding sustainable economic opportunities, and developing and supporting programs that create healthy family and community environments. By aligning all of our assets with our mission, we make creative investments that not only yield a financial return, but can also improve the lives of Colorado’s children.

Girls' Empowerment Program Created To Provide Leadership Skills and Build Confidence

With help from incredible volunteers Tayler Mitchell (of FirstBank), Laurie Hirschfeld-Zeller, and Jean Saul, Hope Communities has established a Girls' Empowerment Group at our affordable housing community in East Denver. Hope hosted a planning meeting with girls in December to help shape the club, getting their input for the kinds of activities they would like to do. 

Thus far, around 15 girls have consistently participated in this weekly program, as we build trust and offer a safe space for these remarkable young women to gain self-confidence and leadership abilities while exploring their community and working toward an empowered and successful future. 

Photos above are from a recent meeting where the girls created visual representations of the lives they want, after a discussion about their limitless potential. These girls have some big dreams, and Hope is ready to support them!

Caring for Colorado Grant Awarded to Hope Will Increase Impact at Park Hill Property

Hope Communities is thrilled to have been chosen to receive $55,000 in grant funding from the Caring for Colorado Foundation to support programs for some of the most vulnerable families in Denver.

Caring for Colorado is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the health and health care of the people of Colorado, focusing on population health and prevention. With their partner organizations, the foundation works to solve the most pressing health needs of vulnerable and underserved populations in the state.  
Thanks to this strategic investment from the Caring for Colorado Foundation, Hope Communities will be able to increase impact at its Park Hill property, The Gardens, dramatically. In particular, the grant will strengthen Hope’s comprehensive programs that promote self-sufficiency, economic mobility and stability for low-income families, improving their health and well-being.  The goal of that program is to lead residents to jobs with a livable wage so they can maintain access to all these important components of health and well-being.
10th Annual Taste of Hidden Brook Builds Community Through Food
Residents of Hidden Brook Apartments, who represent over 20 different countries, came together in February to share food and conversation at the tenth annual "Taste of Hidden Brook" celebration. Hope is proud to report that thanks to the efforts of Community Manager Prudencia, as well as Program and Resource Navigators Sarah and Shaya, residents who had never participated before engaged with the event. It was likely hard to resist those delicious smells wafting through the halls. 

Children and adults alike enjoyed having their picture taken in the creatively designed photo-booth, and Hope made sure to have the one food everyone loves - cake!

Hope Communities is pleased to offer these community-building opportunities to residents. Events like these permit important social bridging to occur, especially for refugee families from across the world. We know that communities are safer, healthier, and more prosperous when residents are connected. 
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