Aurora shares funding recommendations for violence interruption, other youth services


AURORA | City of Aurora staffers delivered their recommendations for splitting up $500,000 in funds for youth violence prevention on Thursday, including money for violence interrupters, mental health care and other services.

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

Council members Juan Marcano, Ruben Medina and Crystal Murillo, who make up the committee, said they approved 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 program and Strengthening Families Curriculum.
  • $65,000 to the Step Up Youth Corporation, a not-for-profit organization based in the Denver metro area that offers scholarships, in part to partner with Aurora Public Schools.
  • $62,500 for the University of Colorado’s At-Risk Intervention and Mentoring Program, a violence interruption effort that identifies hospital patients at risk of violence and connects them with hospital- and community-based resources.
  • $60,000 to Fully Liberated Youth, a Denver-based nonprofit, for outreach, mentorship, therapy and wraparound services.
  • $56,000 to the Struggle of Love Foundation, another Denver nonprofit, for violence interruption services.
  • $48,759 to the Juvenile Assessment Center — a nonprofit that works with families in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties — for a bilingual family liaison and youth assessment and case management services.
  • $39,600 to Aurora Community Connection for mental health and bilingual services.

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

  • $10,000 to A1 Boxing, a boxing gym in Aurora, in part to offer youth scholarships for the sport.
  • $10,000 to the Rocky Mountain Welcome Center, a not-for-profit organization in Aurora, to offer services specifically for young immigrant girls.
  • $10,000 to Aurora Public Schools for prevention supports for students and families.
  • $10,000 to Driven by Our Ambitions, a youth mentorship and therapy organization based in the Denver area, for hosting basketball nights and helping with the re-entry of youth committed by the state’s Division of Youth Services.
  • $10,000 to the Aurora Sister Cities program for a civic engagement youth summer camp.
  • $10,000 to the Salvation Army and $10,000 to Denver Area Youth for Christ for hosting youth nights for Aurora youth.
  • $10,000 in additional funding for the Struggle of Love Foundation for the Safe Zones program and wraparound services.
  • $7,500 to Rise 5280 and $7,500 to Urban Nature Impact for joint youth prevention programming.
  • $5,000 to the Aurora Housing Authority for movie nights and other resident engagement programs.

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

Applications were reviewed by a panel consisting 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 considered the level of organization and oversight within the agencies that applied, as well as their past successes and whether programs were rooted in evidence and best practices.

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

In response to a question from Marcano, Amparan said she thought the $500,000 provided “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 ever hesitate to come to us and ask for more.”

The recommendations will be presented to the City Council at an upcoming study session before they are approved or rejected by the group as a whole.

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6 months ago

Three socialists on the Aurora City Council get together to spend a half million dollars of Aurora citizens money, what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing, if you truly believe that social workers are the answer to stop youth violence, shootings and killing in Aurora. Remember this in, let’s say, a year. Will we be a safer community because our youth are now behaving better? Will our children play together nice rather than shoot at each other in that year? We all hope so, don’t we?

Did the socialists do well with this spent money or did they just throw it away? Two of the Council socialists will still be here in a year. If this $500,000 just went to a lost cause, then remember who chose how to spend it. If it works, great, give them more money in a year. If we are at the same place or perhaps, worse, cut off future dollars and eliminate those on Council whose idea this was.

My feeling is that sooner or later, the people in power will realize that if you think the social money will work to solve youth violence, ( I personally don’t), then stop wasting it on the kids and start by spending on the adults in the room, the parents.

Doug King
Doug King
6 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

“start by spending on the adults in the room, the parents” please explain what you mean by this statement….clue us in on your expertise, please?

6 months ago
Reply to  Doug King

What I mean, Mr. King, is rather obvious to me but not to you, it seems. Take the next half million and give it to socially active groups that will help parents make better decisions with their children and not to socially active, juvenile groups as in the above article. I doubt this will work, either and Aurora will be another half million dollars more poor.

As far as my expertise, it doesn’t matter as the paragraph you took your statement about me from starts out as just, “my feelings”. My comments will always let you know when I think I’m an expert in any given topic, such as socialism and liberalism in Aurora and the USA.

6 months ago

Foiled again by the shorthanded Sentinel staff. They don’t want my Republican stances heard is the only way I can figure this out but I’ll keep trying and they will keep censoring.

I’m thinking the Sentinel is running out of money. Where’s Harrison now that they need him? There’s an honest Democratic journalist.

I’m wondering if no local newspaper in Aurora is better than this Sentinel?

6 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Dick, I don’t know if your perspective is correct that the Sentinel is about to implode as a business. However, it would not surprise me upper management at the Sentinel is unwilling to make business decisions that are needed to steer it in a competitive capitalist economy. A mindset not unlike those coupled to Aurora council, our own socialist reallocation of resources specialist. They seem to think the marijuana tax will never end. They fail to see or know how quickly the red-light camera scheme ending and the relationship to the money for the social-fix-it-all programs dried up. And Dick, you are not alone, it’s stunning how many of my thoughts never make it to the comments. We will see if this one is allowed by the almighty-review- master?

Doug King
Doug King
6 months ago

As I read this article, I KNEW that there would be comments by certain people about the spending of this money. I personally have a few reservations myself, however, as the article does suggest that the applications were reviewed by a professional panel well versed in these issues, I reserve judgement. As to the name calling? Well, just remember, there are at least a few (maybe a majority?) of “fascists” on the Aurora City Council (for those that aren’t sure what that is?: Fascism : a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government) that likely won’t let this “youth violence prevention” program pass, at least not in its present form. Let’s wait and see, shall we?

6 months ago
Reply to  Doug King

My question is, If it is a number of fascists on our City Council then which one is the dictator or who is the dictator that they serve?