Building pathways to success for families through
long-term systemic solutions
Mile High United Way believes that a community and a country can only succeed when we are united, and when every individual receives the opportunities they need to thrive. However, complex economic policies, systemic racism, education disparities, power imbalances and other societal challenges can constrain this vision.
Therefore, our work must include a systems change approach. Our policy work centers on addressing the systems that create barriers for historically marginalized groups, such as BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color), women, foster youth, rural residents, and people with low incomes (below 300% Federal Poverty Guidelines).
Policy That Prioritizes Equity
We use an equity lens to remove barriers and create pathways to success for children, youth, and families. Our Policy & Equity Guide is used to determine how successfully a bill or ballot measure applies an equity lens. Watch the video or view the guide to learn more about our policy work.
Our Policy Strategies
At the local, state and federal levels, we support measures that advance our mission and goals in building pathways to success for individuals, children and families.
2024 Legislative Priorities:
Track our progress as we advocate for change during the 2024 Legislative Session. View Tracker
In 2022, the state legislature passed House Bill 1315: Colorado 211 Collaborative Funding with bipartisan support. The bill appropriates $1 million annually for the operation and management of 211 Colorado, including Mile High United Way’s 211 Help Center. 211 Colorado continues to receive more requests than ever, as more families need access to food, child care, housing resources and more. The 211 call centers across our state also quickly mobilize in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and floods. In 2024, we are seeking additional annual funding to continue the operation and management of 211 Colorado and make necessary technology upgrades.
Mile High United Way believes all children deserve a strong start in life. We are committed to improving Colorado’s child care landscape by expanding access to quality early care and education, so our youngest learners enter school ready to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. We advocate to:
- Provide equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and child care.
- Increase the number of high-quality early learning center care slots.
- Increase opportunities and decrease barriers for family, friend and neighbor care.
- Expand opportunities for parent learning and support through programs such as Parents As Teachers and HIPPY.
- Increase opportunities for early childhood education.
Mile High United Way believes children ages 5 to 12 should have opportunities to consistently engage in quality out-of-school time programs year-round. We advocate for improving access and expanding programs that help children develop social, life and creative skills and provide parents with the opportunity to work while their children enjoy safe, stimulating programming.
Mile High United Way believes everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home. We advocate to:
- Increase housing vouchers for young people aging out of the child welfare system.
- Implement policies that keep people in their homes.
- Expand social safety net and benefit programs.
- Increase funding and support for shelters and safe parking initiatives.
- Remove barriers to transitional or temporary supportive housing, such as tiny homes, safe outdoor spaces and home sharing.
- Increase access to permanent supportive housing.
- Increase affordable housing options.
- Address high tax rates for homeowners.
Mile High United Way believes individuals and families should have access to nourishing food that’s relevant to their cultural, medical, social and/or situational needs. We advocate to:
- Increase support for food banks and food pantries.
- Expand opportunities for meal delivery programs to older adults.
Support food rescue initiatives.
- Expand social safety net and benefit programs, including SNAP benefits.
Mile High United Way believes in improving the financial stability of individuals and families by helping them receive the tax refunds they are owed. We advocate to:
- Increase support for the IRS Volunteer
- Income Tax Assistance program.
- Increase the number of families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
- Maximize tax refunds and reduce tax liabilities.
Mile High United Way believes individuals and families should receive quality legal representation for civil legal issues. We advocate to expand access to free legal services for:
- Evictions and foreclosures.
- Immigration, migrant and refugee support.
- Family, youth and child stability.
From connecting families to quality early childhood education and supporting migrant families to helping middle- and low-income residents access valuable tax credits, we are working toward a brighter future for all Coloradans.
During the 2023 Colorado State Legislative Session, Mile High United Way is supporting two bills that align with our community priorities, House Bill 23-1091 and Senate Bill 23-082.
Read about the impact these laws will have on Mile High United Way programs and throughout our Colorado communities.
By Stephanie Sanchez, Senior Director of 211 Colorado on the impact of HB22-1315.
By Roweena Naidoo and Elliot Goldbaum While we work to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to keep doing everything we can to support people who have
Roweena Naidoo, Vice President, Policy and Community Initiatives, shares how Mile High United Way is evolving to create greater equity in our community.