Aurora Shares Funding Recommendations for Violence Interruption and Other Youth Services

DAWN | On Thursday, City of Aurora employees presented their recommendations to distribute $500,000 in youth violence prevention funds, including money for violence interrupters, mental health care and d ‘other services.

The update delivered to the Housing, Neighborhood Services and Redevelopment Policy Committee came after Aurora City Council approved making the $500,000 in marijuana tax revenue available to organizations. to help address youth violence and gang activity.

Council members Juan Marcano, Ruben Medina and Crystal Murillo, who make up the committee, said they approve of the recommendations for $400,000 in violence intervention services, which include:

  • $68,141 to Mosaic Unlimited, Inc., a nonprofit associated with Mosaic Church of Aurora, for its Safe Havens and Strengthening Families Curriculum program.
  • $65,000 to the Step Up Youth Corporation, a Denver-based nonprofit organization that provides scholarships, in part in partnership with Aurora Public Schools.
  • $62,500 for the University of Colorado’s At-Risk Intervention and Mentoring Program, a violence-stopping effort that identifies hospital patients at risk of violence and connects them with hospital and community resources.
  • $60,000 to Fully Liberated Youth, a Denver-based nonprofit organization, for outreach, mentoring, therapy and accompaniment services.
  • $56,000 to the Struggle of Love Foundation, another Denver nonprofit, for violence interruption services.
  • $48,759 to the Juvenile Assessment Center – a non-profit organization that works with families in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties – for bilingual family liaison and assessment and case management services young people.
  • $39,600 to Aurora Community Connection for mental health and bilingual services.

The three also gave tentative approval to spend $100,000 on violence prevention services such as:

  • $10,000 to A1 Boxing, a boxing gym in Aurora, in part to provide youth athletic scholarships.
  • $10,000 to the Rocky Mountain Welcome Center, an Aurora non-profit organization, to provide services specifically for immigrant girls.
  • $10,000 to Aurora Public Schools for student and family prevention support.
  • $10,000 to Driven by Our Ambitions, a Denver-area youth mentoring and therapy organization, for hosting basketball nights and assisting in the reintegration of youth hired by the Division of Youth Services. state youth.
  • $10,000 to the Aurora Sister Cities program for a youth summer camp on civic engagement.
  • $10,000 to the Salvation Army and $10,000 to Denver Area Youth for Christ for hosting parties for Aurora youth.
  • $10,000 in additional funding for the Struggle of Love Foundation for the Safe Zones program and complementary services.
  • $7,500 to Rise 5280 and $7,500 to Urban Nature Impact for a joint youth prevention program.
  • $5,000 to the Aurora Housing Authority for movie nights and other resident engagement programs.

Christina Amparan, the city’s youth violence prevention officer, said the city received a total of 30 applications in March from organizations interested in grants.

Applications were reviewed by a panel comprised of school resource officers from the Aurora Police Department and representatives from the Tri-County Health Department, Aurora Mental Health, Center, Colorado Youth Detention Continuum, and Aurora Housing and Community Services.

Amparan said the group looked at the level of organization and oversight within the agencies that applied, as well as their past successes and whether the programs were grounded in evidence and best practices.

“We wanted to make sure we were recommending organizations that either had the curriculum or the staff, but also the expertise to be able to provide these services to our at-risk youth,” she said.

In response to a question from Marcano, Amparan said she believes the $500,000 provides “a good starting point” for organizations to help address youth violence in the city.

“There’s a lot of concern,” Marcano said of the topic of youth violence. “I don’t want you all to hesitate to come to us and ask for more.”

The recommendations will be presented to City Council at a future study session before being approved or rejected by the whole group.

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