Aug 28Celebrating Partnerships Across Our Region
Mercy Housing – Colorado – Denver Police Department
For the past year, The Denver Police Department (DPD) has been a partner in our Sister Lillian Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) at Grace Apartments and Holly Park Apartments in Denver.
The Sister Lillian YAP provides students with the guidance, structure, and effective feedback necessary to realize success. For older youth 17+ years of age, engaging in an apprenticeship can help them clarify their career aspirations and gain real-world work experience. It also provides an effective pathway into good jobs and strong postsecondary programs that lead to meaningful careers with family-sustaining wages.
Thank you to the DPD for being an instrumental part of this program and for sharing your experiences with the kids as they think about their futures.
Kaizen Food Rescue
Kaizen Food Rescue is committed to preventing food waste, improving food justice, and health equity in communities facing food apartheid. Through its partnership with Grace Apartments, this local nonprofit donates an average of 5,000 pounds of fresh produce each week, sourced from local farmers and the Food Bank of the Rockies, to increase healthy food access for those in need. With the support of a Healthy Food for Denver Kids grant, Kaizen created a children and youth garden program, which gives the kids a fun and educational hands-on experience while also increasing access to healthy produce in the community. They have 12 events planned in this family community.
“Not only does Kaizen provide food security, but the fresh produce that is given out is appropriate for the various cultures in the community. Kaizen also gives Grace residents many opportunities to lead and organize food handouts and events. This has made many Grace residents feel empowered and more connected to their community,” Airille Ogawa, Resident Services Coordinator II at Grace Apartments shared.
Earlier this year, the Market Station Chase team ‘adopted’ Clare Gardens for 2023! Hosting one volunteer event each quarter, the Chase team has helped clean up around the property and hosted an arts and crafts day for the kids. We are excited about the many more fun events with the Chase team and are thankful for their dedication to Mercy Housing.
We are excited to be partnering with Boeing in Colorado and Utah this year! The Boeing Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership (BWIL) Colorado team donated and hosted a backpack and school supply giveaway with over $2,000 worth of school supplies given out to youth. While in Utah, the Boeing team is working to become active volunteers at Francis Peak View. We can’t wait to see how this partnership grows in the years ahead.
Building on a 30-year partnership, Mercy Housing Mountain Plains and Swinerton recently teamed up for a Skills Trade Fair for over 20 Mercy Housing Mountain Plains (MHMP) youth. Held at Swinerton’s Denver warehouse, students in grades seven and up learned about the construction industry through hands-on activities and a career workshop.
This hands-on event showed students some of the options available in the trade industry including,
The kids also spoke with Swinerton representatives about apprenticeships and heard from employees who shared their stories about working in the construction industry. As one employee said, “It’s important to show that someone who looks like you and has had a similar life journey can be successful.”
Utah State University Kaysville
And in Utah, Utah State University – Kaysville (USU Kaysville) brought a weeklong day camp called Camp Thrive to Francis Peak View’s middle school students that focused on resiliency and good mental health. As kids prepare to head back to school, this program will expand to include cooking and nutrition classes for kindergarten – 12th graders and will also offer cooking classes to adults and families at night. The University has already provided recipes that utilize affordable and accessible foods that can often be found in the community’s food pantry. Recently, five of those recipes were tested with residents who were given recipe cards and ingredients to try at home. It was a hit! Lastly, USU-Kaysville will be providing residents with fresh produce through its Botanical Center this fall. Residents can look forward to gardening class next spring which will teach participants how to grow their own food in flowerpots displayed on their own porches. Thank you to USU-Kaysville for making learning fun at any age!
Mercy Housing – Southwest
Salt River Project
Page Commons in Gilbert, AZ., welcomed volunteers from Salt River Project (SRP) recently. The SRP team helped fill care package bags full of cleaning supplies and toiletries to give to residents across Arizona. SRP is a community-based nonprofit providing affordable water and power to more than two million people in central Arizona.
Mercy Housing – Midwest
Lift Up Sarpy
Mercy Housing’s Crestview community in Omaha partnered with Lift Up Sarpy County, a crisis response agency that brings together a collaboration of over 100 different agencies each week to problem-solve issues within the Omaha community. With a more holistic approach, called “community response,” Lift Up Sarpy provides educational programs such as Bridges, Financial Hope Financial Programs, as well as community activities and mental health classes to Crestview Apartment residents.
Residents also hear from each agency about future classes, events, activities, or training being planned in their communities before breaking out into groups to talk more about the various assistance that is available during a crisis response.
Thank you to Lift Up Sarpy for bringing this important collaboration to Mercy Housing families in Omaha.
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