Denver ReCAST

A city and community collaborative toward healing and resiliency in communities after stress and trauma.

In response to the rising violence facing Denver youth, the City and County of Denver was awarded a $1 million federal Resiliency for Communities Affected by Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) grant over five years that is aimed at providing services that implement evidence-based violence prevention, create opportunities for community youth engagement, and link at-risk youth and their families to trauma-informed behavioral health services.

Denver ReCAST will partner six city agencies with community-based organizations (CBOs) in a coordinated effort to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resiliency and equity among communities that have faced the burden of violence/trauma.

About Denver ReCAST

Denver ReCAST is focused on seven objectives from the Denver YPAT Comprehensive 2020 Plan that align with mental and behavioral strategies. Denver ReCAST strategic navigation plan provides an outline for the work that will be funded and supported throughout the initiative. The navigation plan will be an important tool for the Community Advisory Boards to help guide and promote the work of Denver ReCAST.

Vision

Healthy and safe neighborhoods the support trauma-informed services, improving well-being of youth and families impacted by violence.

Purpose

Advancing and supporting community-led and youth-informed mental wellness services through collaborative partnerships between the city and community leaders.

Values

  • Equity-focused
  • Youth-engaged
  • Trauma-informed
  • Youth and adult collaboration
  • Evidence-based youth violence prevention tactics
  • Community-based action and collaborative research

Additional Information

The Denver ReCAST program is a multi-year grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA has allocated the ReCAST grant to cities across the United States where youth and families face rising rates of violence/trauma along with recent civil unrest due to social-economic systems rooted in discrimination and underinvestment. The goal of the program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.

Denver is among nine other cities and counties in the 2021 ReCAST Cohort.

Denver ReCAST Community Advisory Board

Denver ReCAST is convening an Adult Advisory board, with 15 diverse individuals representing neighborhoods heavily impacted by violence. The city will engage with the board members to ensure the funds used are aligned with Denver ReCAST’s navigation plan goals, with an emphasis on supporting community-led youth informed mental wellness services. 

Additional Information

The ReCAST program is funded by a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant designed to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resilience and equity in communities that have recently faced civil unrest.

Strategies to do this work include:

  • Implementation of evidence-based violence prevention
  • Community youth engagement programs
  • Linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services

The goal of the program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.

City Partners

Denver Office of Financial Empowerment and Protection

  • Will use funding to support an Apprenticeship Transition Counselor in its new College and Career Accessibility Support Alliance (CCASA) program to provide guidance on skilled trades field and linking students to industry-led apprenticeships.

Denver Public Safety Youth Programs

Denver Public Schools

  • Will use funding to support a staff position to provide clinical consultation and professional development for school social workers and psychologists staff on issues related to youth violence prevention. 

Office of Denver District Attorney

  • Will use funding to support a Restorative Justice Coordinator position to establish and organize the Restorative Justice Program’s policies, procedures for the management of cases.

Denver Human Services

  • Will use funding to support the Youth Empowerment Program, which is a new youth mentoring initiative, for ages 14-22.
  • Will use funding for a Youth Mentoring Program and support services such as: emergency food, transportation assistance, clothing, materials for education, and trauma coping support.

Denver Department of Public Health & Environment

  • Support outreach activities to at-risk youth and families through the Wellness Winnie Mobile Unit, which is staffed by a Peer Professional and Case Manager. Providing support at two youth violence prevention programs in the Montebello, and East Colfax locations.
  • Support the DenverStrong Mental Health Awareness and Training Program designed to educate and empower the Denver community around behavioral health issues. Providing free trainings, consultation, and community collaboration.   

Community Partners

Denver ReCAST will build off the work of the YVPAT Comprehensive Plan’s call to develop a Community Navigation Plan that coordinates City programming with programming from Community-Based Organizations. There will be over $400,000 available for Community-based Organization programming which will be made available through a Request for Proposal (RFP process).

Make a Chess Move

  • Programming is designed to develop long-term relationships with youth to affect positive change in mental health and substance misuse in youth. MACM curriculum teaches knowledge, skills and reasoning through chess as a hybrid model of digital and in-person classroom in the Five Points, Whittier, Cole, Clayton, NE Park Hill, Skyland neighborhoods.

Sims-Fayola Foundation

  • Improve the life outcomes and experiences of men, young men, and boys of color, and increase the capacity of the youth service professionals who work with them to provide their services through an equity and gender lens.

CHIC (Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities)

  • Focus on serving high risk women and girls of color as well as their families in NE Denver/Potentially citywide Denver/Aurora. Provides programing in: education, reengagement, Intake assessments, provides direct access to supportive services and other resources that can minimize or remove barriers to youth/family participation in services.

F.L.Y. (Fully Liberated Youth)

  •  Criminal justice referrals for mental health services/supports - provide Juvenile Justice Intervention services. These services consist of referrals from Denver’s Judicial Districts and specific Juvenile Pre-Trial, Diversion, or Probation Departments, upon which FLY provides therapy (individual, family, substance-use, or EMDR) and/or mentorship (including wraparound servicing: employment, education, prosocial, housing, etc.), and GED services to those referred clients–citywide.

Homies Unidos

  •  Provide positive alternatives to gang involvement and destructive behavior through  youth intervention and empowerment services to Denver Metro area youth and their families:  Character Development Training, Mentoring, peer engagement through occasional recreational/social outings – citywide.

YouthSeen

  •  Provide mental health and healing services for Queer and Trans people of color. We believe that by building community, we can connect with others that accept and understand the journey of becoming one's true self. With the support of our local providers, in-house clinicians and dedicated staff, YouthSeen programming, such as Black Pride Colorado, provides a safe and welcoming environment to uplift and empower QTBIPoC folx of all ages. YouthSeen is comprised of 4 programs, Clinical (mental health/case management), CampSeen (youth age 10-18), TransSeen (Transgender and non-binary resources and gender affirming care) and Black PRIDE Colorado (empowerment and community).

Butler Institute for Families (Partnering with Wellpower and the Kempe Center) 

  •  Provide trauma-informed care training that is open to all community agencies in Denver, as well as provide the Strengthening Resilience program in both English and Spanish for members of the workforce. The collaborative will also be developing a youth and family resilience program co-created with the community in the Montbello neighborhood in northeast Denver, focusing on BIPOC youth and their families.

IBS Center for the Study & Prevention of Violence (CSPV) University of Colorado Boulder

  • Partner with the Denver ReCAST team to collect and report the performance measures required for this project, administer surveys for quality improvement purposes, and build the evaluation capacity of the stakeholders.

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation will be conducted in partnership with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at CU Boulder. CSPV researchers will partner with the Denver ReCAST team to collect and report the performance measures required for this project, administer surveys for quality improvement purposes, and build the evaluation capacity of the stakeholders.