Ushering in 2022 with Continued Support of Our Collaborative Partners

January 20, 2022

As the Denver metro region continues to grow in the face of climate change, COVID, and lack of affordability for so many, MHC understands more than ever the importance of bringing together individuals, organizations, philanthropy, and government to achieve community change at levels they cannot achieve alone. As we usher in the new year, we celebrate and continue to support the work of our collaborative partners, all in service of uprooting systemic inequities while responding to the immediate needs of community. This is our work.

MHC and its collaborative partners are working toward a common vision where all people in our region are free and live in equitable, resilient communities. Our Collaborative Work Plan serves as the roadmap for this vision – addressing deeply rooted systemic issues while ensuring community needs are met. It reflects local work of our partners with an understanding that many of the common barriers they experience are connected to systemic causes that target BIPOC and low-income residents, including lack of access to land ownership and other opportunities for wealth-building, as well as a lack of representation at planning and policy decision-making tables.

MHC’s work plan was built by our Coordinated Action Committee, comprised of steering committee members and partners from

  • West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (West Denver)
  • Maiker Housing Partners (Southwest Adams County)
  • Enterprise Community Partners (East Denver/Regional)
  • Montbello Organizing Committee (Far Northeast Denver)
  • Cha Ka M Zee (Community leader/Regional)

Each partner is working locally in our target geographies – West Denver, East Denver, Far NE Denver, and SW Adams County, and elevated specific projects that will move the needle forward on MHC’s three strategies of Unlocking Community Power, Equitable Development, and Equitable Capital. These strategies were supported with a range of resources including capacity building, technical assistance, peer connections, and financial resources (as available).

Thanks to the contributions of the Strong Prosperous & Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), Forth Mobility/Greenlining Institute, and local funders, last year MHC supported all Coordinated Action Committee members, in addition to other local partners doing critical work to advance our strategies, including:

  • East Colfax Community Collective
  • Sun Valley Kitchen
  • Colorado Black Arts Movement
  • 9to5 Colorado
  • United for a New Economy

Anchored in our unlocking community power strategy, MHC:

  • Continued to support the community movement building and organizing capacity of our local partners, resulting in organizational changes that provide formal structures for authentic community engagement and program co-creation.
  • Financially supported partners in SW Adams County to develop a start-up committee to inform a new organizing and training institute to tackle critical issues such as healthy food, language, and vaccine access.
  • Financially supported efforts of our west Denver partners to increase the capacity for organizing across that region.
  • Sponsored Zoom licenses for community organizers and partners, opening access to virtual public meetings and identifying strategies to sustain the work in a post-pandemic world.

As part of our equitable development strategy, we:

  • Financially supported partners in exploring community ownership models to fight displacement, increase local stabilization, and build community resilience.
  • Supported local partners with data and research into community ownership models to inform their path forward.
  • Cohosted community discussion on electric mobility and infrastructure to understand potential hurdles in implementations

To open access to equitable capital, we:

  • Financially supported predevelopment costs associated with community-driven mixed-use projects designed to address lack of housing, missing healthy food systems, and other critical local needs, such as Montbello’s FreshLo project.

Connecting local issues to larger-scale impacts to drive equitable change, we amplified regional and state-level efforts by supporting affordable housing campaigns of our partners to advance safe, healthy housing in COVID recovery, including implementing an extension to the state’s eviction moratorium and two state bills focused on tenant protections.

As the need to implement and operationalize equitable practices grows, MHC’s years of unprecedented experience as a collaborative of community-based organizations and institutional partners, paired with our more recent work through the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Community Challenge (SPARCC), positions us to preach what we practice and advocate for continued support of collaborative work and the need for deeper relational partnerships, stronger community networks, sustained access to expertise and technical assistance, and diverse, unrestricted, and patient capital.