Together, the three projects will cost $6 million over the next four years. With the passage of HB 18-1323, the State set aside half of the projects’ upfront costs. The remaining half of the projects will be funded with $3 million in investor capital from Northern Trust, Community First Foundation, Gary Community Investments, and the Denver Foundation. These investors will be repaid if the projects succeed. Success includes demonstrating that more youth are on track to graduate from high school on time and fewer are involved in the justice system or removed from their homes. Funding to cover these success payments was also set aside in HB 18-1323.
An additional $800,000, including grants from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, funds three rigorous evaluations led by the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, an independent evaluator at the University of Denver’s Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise.
Two new projects will launch this month. The Denver Collaborative Partnership funds preventive services for runaway teens and pre-teens, and will refer runaway youth and their families to evidence-based services in the home and community, with the goal of reducing youth system involvements. The Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) project will support underserved regions of Colorado. MST is an intensive family- and community-based intervention for at-risk youth to reduce criminal justice involvement. This project will expand the availability of MST to underserved regions of Colorado where it is not currently available, placing therapists in Pueblo, Greeley, Grand Junction, Adams and Broomfield counties, and two more sites to be selected soon. The State is partnering with the University of Denver’s Center for Effective Interventions on this initiative.