On Thursday, April 25, 2019, Mi Casa Resource Center participated in a press conference with the Denver Police Department (DPD) and several other community partners to announce DPD as the recipient of the Community-Based Crime Reduction Program (CBCR) U.S. Department of Justice grant. The grant, valued at nearly one million dollars, is designed to reduce crime through community-oriented and data-driven best practices, and focuses specifically on the Westwood neighborhood.

Encompassing one and half square miles in Southwest Denver, the Westwood neighborhood is a unique and cultural center point in the City of Denver. However, the Westwood neighborhood has experienced gang and gun crime. Recognizing that reducing crime in Westwood requires more than police enforcement, the CBCR grant allows for funding of community partners to collaborate towards a common goal: improving the quality of life for Westwood residents.

At the press conference Denver Police District Commander Mark Fleecs spoke about the goals and objectives of the grant, including strengthening the well-being of residents by providing quality educational, social, and economic opportunities, as well as the reduction of crimes in the Westwood neighborhood.

Commander Fleecs also stressed the importance of community partners in achieving these goals and noted, “Mi Casa represents the opportunity provision of this grant to provide economic development opportunities for families in this neighborhood.”

“Mi Casa moved its headquarters location to the Westwood neighborhood in 2017 to be closer to where many of our participants live,” said Monique Lovato, CEO of Mi Casa Resource Center. “We are focusing on creating pathways to opportunity for career seekers, entrepreneurs, young people, and their families. We are proud to work with other community partners and the Denver Police Department as a CBCR cross-sector partner to help make this neighborhood a better and safer place for all residents.”

“Westwood is a diverse and resilient community, and that character and community in the neighborhood is part of what makes Denver as a whole so special,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This grant will help us not only improve safety for the residents here, but enhance quality of life and provide better opportunities for Westwood residents by taking an equity-focused approach to create a positive and lasting impact in the neighborhood.”

The partners and stakeholders participating in the CBCR program are:

  • Denver Police Department
  • Mi Casa Resource Center
  • Westwood Unidos
  • Southwest Denver Coalition
  • Denver Housing Authority; Westwood Townhomes
  • BuCu West Development Association
  • Owen Boys & Girls Club
  • Denver Indian Center
  • Little Saigon Business District/Walk Denver
  • Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver (GRID)
  • OMNI Institute; Social Science Research Firm
Michele Soli
Author: Michele Soli