Annual Award Recognizes Organizations Supporting Women in Metro Denver
The Domestic Violence Acute Response Team from Safehouse Progressive Alliance Network (SPAN) in Boulder County is the recipient of Mile High United Way’s Women United Innovation Award this year. This annual award, totaling $35,000 in 2023, recognizes innovative community projects that empower women and children in our community.
The Domestic Violence Acute Response Team provides a coordinated response to the needs of people – usually women and girls – experiencing relationship violence by working with local law enforcement, the Boulder County District Attorney and other service providers. SPAN staff provide bilingual services and an evidence-based triage system to identify high-risk cases and connect under-resourced clients to community resources.
This specialized team plays a critical role in facilitating the rapid deployment of support for survivors, performs “warm” transfers to ensure people have ready access to the help they need to stay safe, and works closely with law enforcement to interrupt cycles of violence that can lead to extreme, deadly outcomes.
“SPAN is thrilled to receive a Women United Initiative award. These funds will support SPAN’s crisis response team, providing critical assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their children. Rates of domestic violence increased during the pandemic and continue to rise, making partnerships like this with Women United urgently needed. We are honored to partner with Women United further to assist survivors in rebuilding their lives after violence,” said Anne Tapp, SPAN’s executive director.
The Innovation Award is a funding opportunity developed by Mile High United Way’s Women United, a group of community leaders dedicated to creating opportunity for women and children. Women United members raise money throughout the year for the Innovation Fund, to support new, innovative projects that improve the lives of women and girls across Metro Denver. Then, Women United invites select nonprofit organizations to apply for the Innovation Fund and chooses the recipient of the award.
“Giving to Mile High United Way’s Women United Initiative allows me to confidently give to programs and services that empower women and girls in our community. Through the Innovation Fund specifically, I’ve enjoyed being a part of the funding process by reading applications and helping to select the award winner. I’ve been able to see some amazing projects come to fruition through this award, and excited to see what we can do next — together,” said Kimberly Smith, chair of the Women United Global Leadership Council and Women United member since 2015.
Past Innovation Award winners include:
- 2021: Mile High Early Learning for the Women Returning to Work program
- 2020: A Precious Child for the Precious Perk workforce development program
- 2019: ECDC African Community Center for the Women’s Driving Opportunity Program
- 2018: Girls Inc. of Metro Denver for their Bold Beans coffee truck
Learn more about Mile High United Way’s Women United and our commitment to creating lasting change in our community.
About Mile High United Way
Working side-by-side with the community, Mile High United Way takes on critical human services issues facing our seven-county footprint, including the Metro Denver, Boulder and Broomfield communities. Our united approach changes the odds for all children, families, and individuals in our community, so that all have the opportunity to succeed. Learn more at unitedwaydenver.org and follow us on social media @UnitedWayDenver.
About Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN)
SPAN is a human rights organization committed to ending violence against adults, youth and children through support, advocacy, education and community organizing. SPAN began providing services in 1979 and is crucial to the network of support that offers critical “safety net” services to vulnerable, low-income and at-risk populations. It is the only organization serving Boulder County and western Broomfield designed to provide shelter and advocacy for victims of interpersonal violence at a time when our community is experiencing higher domestic violence rates than national and state averages.