Beth McConkey, 720.898.5919

Jeffco Receives Nearly $2 Million to Improve Community Wellness

ARVADA, Colo. (September 13, 2018) – Community First Foundation has allocated $1.75 million in grants over the past two years to 124 organizations working to improve community wellness in Jefferson County. These organizations provide vital services and support to the overall well-being of Jeffco residents.

The grants are part of an initiative called Improving Conditions of Community Health in Jeffco. The initiative is funding a pool of organizations that address a wide range of needs that contribute to community wellness. It looks at five overarching areas of a community’s health: economic stability, education, social and community context, health/health care and neighborhood and built environment.

“The Jeffco grants allow us to address community health holistically,” says Noah Atencio, vice president of community impact, Community First Foundation. This framework ensures we truly move the needle for Jefferson County residents.”

The funds are being distributed among the five community health categories as follows:

 Conditions of Community Health in Jeffco Initiative 2017-2018


Grant Amount Number of Grants
Economic Stability $425,750 23
Education $405,211 25
Social and Community Context $374,194 34
Health/Health Care $377,348 27
Neighborhood and Built Environment $167,497 15
Total: $1,750,000 124

The Foundation is investing in Jefferson County since that is where their journey began. “We have strong roots and a special relationship with Jefferson County. This inspires us to continuously look for opportunities to increase the quality of life in Jefferson County and build a stronger community,” explains Noah Atencio. “This is the largest multi-grant initiative the Foundation has awarded, and we are optimistic about its impact on our neighbors and friends in Jefferson County.”

Examples of Grantees
Jefferson Center for Mental Health – $10,000 Grant

Jefferson Center’s mission is to inspire hope, improve lives and strengthen our community by providing mental health and related solutions for individuals and families. Community First Foundation funding helps Jefferson Center provide

high-school equivalency training to at least 40 youth at The ROAD, a youth drop-in center located at Brady High School in Lakewood. The ROAD addresses a gap in high-quality and comprehensive services for at-risk, low-income youth and young adults in Jefferson County with behavioral, emotional or mental health issues or significant trauma.

Tennyson Center for Children – $12,500 Grant

The mission of Tennyson Center is to empower children who have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma to bravely and safely change their life’s story. Community First Foundation funding helps Tennyson Center serve 100 to 125 Jefferson County children and their families through the “No Kid Waits” (#NoKidWaits) project. This program responds to families in distress within 24 hours and initiates a safety plan within 14 days to maintain stability and safety while the family is linked with appropriate behavioral health services.

The Adoption Exchange- $5,000 Grant

The Adoption Exchange connects children who wait in foster care with families who adopt and provides support and expertise before, during and after the adoption process. Funding from Community First Foundation helps The Adoption Exchange hire two intensive recruiters dedicated to serving youth in Jefferson County. The funds also help grow family support services and implement post-adoption support in order to serve over 30 youth in foster care and 275 individuals seeking support services in Jefferson County.

The Outdoor Lab Foundation – $25,000 Grant

The Outdoor Lab Foundation aims to develop stewardship of self, community and environment. Community First Foundation funding helps The Outdoor Lab Foundation’s Outdoor Lab School provide effective, high quality outdoor educational programming to 100% of the 6,000 Jefferson County sixth grade students, including 33 weeks of

programming to two historic sites in Jefferson County, engagement with 59 middle schools and teaching six core courses and seven special interest/elective courses.

View the full list of grantees (PDF) >

About Community First Foundation

Since 1975, Community First Foundation has been helping generous donors and innovative nonprofits come together to improve the quality of life and create positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond. We serve as a connector, partner, collaborator and resource to fuel the power of community for the greater good. We are proud to use our energy, leadership and trusted stewardship of financial resources to energize giving across our state, strengthen nonprofits, support donors and find new ways to address community needs.