GOALS Early Childhood Education Center
- The pandemic has reduced the accessibility of high quality, affordable childcare—especially for disproportionally impacted communities. This capital investment will renovate an existing building on the Family Tree GOALS campus to provide 70, year-round birth-to-5-years-old childcare slots. About 90% of these slots will serve families who are eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program, Early Head Start and Head Start programs. The campus already has Family Tree as an established nonprofit partner with a long track record of success. The grant will also give Family Tree GOALS the ability to leverage other funding streams with partner agencies.
Family Resource Pavilion Expansion
- The FRC annually serves about 1000 Medicaid-eligible Arapahoe County youth, who will need additional post-pandemic support (along with their families) to maintain stability. This capital investment in the phase II build-out of the FRP will create additional space for youth and families to participate in social activities, which promotes positive mental health and social well-being. The proposed build-out will also expand the bed capacity by 33% and move the existing respite and school area from the current building to above the gym, which will free up much-needed space for the expansion of current services and addition of new services. The grant will also give FRP the ability to leverage other funding streams with partner agencies.
Village Exchange Vaccine Incentive Program
- Studies show that serious illness, hospitalization and death can be greatly mitigated by incentivizing low-income individuals. This grant will address certain vulnerable populations who are choosing not to be vaccinated because they are low-income individuals who are concerned about the potential loss of income as a result of becoming ill for a day or two from the vaccine and missing work. This program incentivizes the population by ensuring they would have approximately two days of income, should they become ill from the vaccine. Village Exchange Center partners with TCHD to provide services and has demonstrated success in similar programs in Adams County.
Pretrial Fee Support
- Pretrial release services are a cost-effective alternative to pretrial confinement in jail. The out-of-pocket costs for our low-income clients can be detrimental to their ability to achieve success in the program. The pandemic has extended the length of pretrial procedures in many cases; these costs--including fees for supervision, urinalysis, GPS, and SCRAM--add up over time. Original funding was approved through CARES to assist with these out-of-pocket expenses for indigent population, and this grant would continue this approach.
Eviction Assistance Pilot Program
- Pre-pandemic, Arapahoe County had one of the metro area's highest eviction rates, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. This pilot program would provide legal assistance to affected households to help prevent or mitigate the adverse familial and societal impacts of involuntary displacement and/or homelessness. A similar pilot program represented 363 households, a total of 695 people, including 408 children; 85% of those households were able to retain their housing by giving them more time to move or obtain a voucher.
Permanent Supportive Housing—Justice Involved
- Arapahoe County has been leading the way on a local Permanent Supportive Housing initiative (which has a long-term housing retention rate of up to 98%) to assist with housing the justice-involved population who are also experiencing behavioral health concerns. The pandemic has exacerbated all aspects of this situation. This grant would build a 100-bed facility to improve the health, safety, and rehabilitation of justice-involved clients by addressing their rehabilitation needs. This project would continue to leverage existing partnerships with entities including 18th Judicial District problem-solving courts, Arapahoe County Pre-trial mental health, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Probation Mental Health Program, Project SAFER, the Veteran’s Treatment Court and others. This project would also provide long-term housing supports and encourage housing stability, as one additional PSH unit per every 10,000 adults is associated with 1% decrease in chronic homeless rate, as well as providing a net savings of of up to $33,500 per person per year.
Ready to Work—West Side
- The Tri-Cities policy group has identified a priority of opening a “Ready to Work” bridge house in the Tri-Cities area, most likely in Englewood. The Ready to Work program is an established local program with successful locations in Aurora and Boulder that have seen an 80% success rate with graduation and long-term employment and housing for program participants. The funding provided by Arapahoe County would be leveraged with local partners (the Tri-Cities coalition of Englewood, Sheridan and Littleton) to support the development of this program in the western part of the County.
Tri-Cities Navigation Center
- The Tri-Cities policy group has identified a homeless Navigation Center as a primary need. This facility would provide additional coordination, strategy, and capacity for providing services to those experiencing homelessness in the western part of the County. The funding provided by the County would be leveraged with Tri-Cities to support the development of this program, and the County will also provide additional staffing support for the center using existing resources and staff members.
All Health Colorado Spirit Program
- The pandemic has been a time of remarkably high demand for behavioral health services. Since June 2020, the program has had more than 300 in-person individual sessions and more than 1,500 participants in group services, as well as almost 11,000 telephone contacts by a crisis counselor and more than 2,000 email communications in response to requests. Moreover, All Health has distributed other mental health and well-being resources to more than 26,000 individuals and mailed 215,000 pieces of literature. This grant fills a critical gap by providing free psychological support for our community, including individual and group counseling and support for individuals and communities recovering from the challenging effects of the pandemic. These services will be offered via community-based, telephonic and web-based outreach and psychoeducational services. The funding will cover staff costs, including three crisis counselors, a community liaison, a web marketing specialist, and 50% of expenses for a program leader.
Aurora Mental Health Potomac Safety Net Campus
- The pandemic has initiated or exacerbated depressive, anxiety, substance use and other psychiatric disorders in vulnerable populations, including individuals with pre-existing psychiatric disorders. AuMHC serves diverse client population, 56% of whom are individuals below 150% of federal poverty limit. This grant consolidates existing services into a new, multidisciplinary safety net campus. This facility will co-locate services in a state-of-the-art, trauma-informed building as a “one-stop” access point for mental health and substance use disorder acute care, and it creates the opportunity to secure state grant funds for the project; short timeline to submit; the County previously approved $1 million.
Aurora Mental Health Suicide Prevention
- Suicide remains a major public health crisis, the risk of which has only increased as a result of the pandemic. Aurora Mental Health Center is a key member of the healthcare safety net for Arapahoe County and serves individuals with <60% of earned median income. This grant will fund the infrastructure needed to fully adopt the seven principles of the Zero Suicide Framework to better identify suicide risk, train staff on client engagement, implement evidence-based treatments for suicide ideation, and conduct ongoing data collection and measurement. It will establish a Suicide Prevention Pathway, providing guidelines and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that risk assessments are completed and safety plans are created for all at-risk clients.
Expansion of Pretrial Mental Health Programs
- Instances of mental health needs have increased due to the pandemic while economic opportunity has decreased. The pretrial mental health program improves the lives of its clients by reducing relapse and recidivism. Among recent examples of success are a 27% reduction in the Failure to Appear rate and more than $420,000 in savings between Jan. 1 2021 and July 31 2021. This pilot expansion would include hiring two temporary grant-funded mental health pre-trial navigators to increase the number of clients served; it is projected that doubling the ability to serve individuals should also double the current cost savings.
Detention Center Diversion Pilot Program
- Establishing a behavioral health alternative to the jail has been identified by the ACJCC as its top priority. Given the high prevalence of mental health and/or substance use disorders among inmates, establishing an alternative, treatment-based facility, in lieu of jail custody, is a way to meet these individuals’ needs in a trauma-informed and clinical setting. This pilot would house behavioral health-impacted jail inmates into the unused wing of the Arapahoe County Residential Center (ACRC). Similar programs across the nation have seen long-term cost savings and positive outcomes, including:
- Bexar County TX saves more than $10 million per year on averted jail costs and ER costs; 89% of those that exited did not return to homelessness after one year; in first year of operation the county saw 3,323 fewer jail bookings.
- Davidson County TN saw 21% recidivism reduced in its first year.
Arapahoe Community College Health Innovation Center
- The pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for a robust, well-trained healthcare workforce. There are more than 13,000 unfilled healthcare positions in the metro area right now, and many employers are paying traveling nurses almost double what they did five years ago due to the shortage. Hospital capacity has also been deeply affected. The Health Innovation Center will serve residents and health care industry partners of Arapahoe County to help increase the talent pool by constructing simulated education spaces that will be used across all health programs to educate students, and integrate the healthcare experience across the various specialties.
Community College of Aurora Center for STEM, Power Mechanics & Sustainable Energy
- CCA has long served as a gateway to higher education for the Aurora and East Metro Denver community, its primary service area. The service area is marked by low rates of education attainment and is economically disadvantaged. The pandemic has necessitated the re‐training of large numbers of displaced workers, especially workers of color who have been disproportionally impacted, and especially from economic sectors that are unlikely to recover quickly. Although 22% of employed Aurora residents worked in either the service/hospitality industry or in the retail trade sector in 2019, in 2020 these industries experienced 153% and 111% turnover rates in Arapahoe County. The 2021‐2025 growth projections for these industries is 0.6% and 0%, respectively. Simultaneously, in‐demand industries such as construction and transportation are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, which further hampers economic recovery. The proposed project will address the needs of these workers and industries by helping create a dynamic new training and education space for students and industry partners. Among the specific proposed training areas are diesel power mechanics, construction, clean energy and applied engineering programming, as well as interactive learning‐lab space, which is uniquely aligned to assist industries and the community in economic recovery from the pandemic.
K-12 Grant Program
- The pandemic has disproportionately impacted school-age youth—especially in the area of behavioral health--and has further impacted those in certain socioeconomic categories. A recent Not One More Child presentation highlighted the significant challenges area schools districts are facing in providing mental health services to youth. This funding reframes the potential grant program for mental health programming needs, and additional work is needed to frame the overall proposal.
STRIDE West Dental Clinic
- The pandemic has led to closures and reduced hours of dental practices, which has limited routine care and prevention—which leads to more non-routine needs. The populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are also at a higher risk for developing oral diseases and experiencing oral health care disparities at higher rates. These funds will help develop a dental clinic in West Arapahoe County—the existing facility does not include dental services--with three dental bays and three private rooms to meet the dental needs of Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured residents.