For 135 years, Mile High United Way has believed that a community can only succeed when it is united. Our vision for building a stronger and more equitable community was advanced significantly during the 2022 Colorado legislative session. This year, three bills Mile High United Way championed were signed into law! Read more about the impact these laws will have on Mile High United Way programs and throughout our Colorado communities.
Signed: HB22-1315 Colorado 211 Collaborative Funding
We were honored to host Governor Jared Polis at Mile High United Way on Friday for the signing of HB22-1315, which provides $1 million in annual funding for the Colorado 211 Collaborative. This is a landmark victory for one of the state’s most essential resources, as more than 100,000 Coloradans turned to Mile High United Way’s 211 Help Center last year for help finding rent and utility assistance, food, mental health support, and other critical needs. We are so grateful to our bill sponsors: Rep. Rich, Rep. Snyder, Sen. Hansen, and Sen. Priola. Learn more about 211 and the impact of HB22- 1315.
“Coloradans can rest assured that, wherever they are, if they dial three simple numbers – 211 – they get confidential connections to the support they need.” – Governor Jared Polis
“In signing HB22-1315, Governor Polis is signaling to Coloradans that we hear you and recognize the struggles many of you have experienced in navigating available resources during times of need,” said Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way. “With this financial commitment from the State of Colorado, Mile High United Way will continue to address this need through our 2-1-1 Call Center, which connected over 100,000 individuals to resources in their communities last year.”
Signed: SB22-213 Childcare Support Programs
Giving every child a strong start is at the core of Mile High United Way’s work. We are thrilled to share that earlier on Friday, Governor Polis also signed SB22-213, which infuses $100 million in federal funding into a variety of early childhood programs and the creation of an advisory group and training program for family, friend, and neighbor childcare (FFN) providers. These will support co-designed employer-based childcare, expanding availability by increasing slots in childcare deserts, enhancing home visiting services, and improving the recruitment and retention of quality early childhood professionals.
This measure will go a long way toward making quality childcare more equitably accessible and affordable for Colorado families. When you support Mile High United Way, you not only support the United for Families program dedicated to creating equitable opportunities for all children and families – you also support our efforts to make quality early care and learning a priority in state policy decisions.
Signed: SB22-008 High Education Support for Foster Youth
Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap program was essential in passing SB22-008, signed into law by Governor Polis on May 26. The law provides needed financial aid to students who have been in foster care. Early evidence suggests that students previously in foster care are 3.5 times more likely to graduate college if they receive financial assistance.
“Nationally, only 3% of former foster youth receive a college degree. [This law removes] financial barriers for our young people, and it puts in place resources and navigators to help students understand and access financial support.” – Kathlyne Trevino, Bridging the Gap Coach
The signing of these bills would not be possible without you – our donors, supporters, volunteers and team – who believe in our mission. Because of you, we can now serve more families across our state. Learn more about Mile High United Way’s Community Priorities and how we support families.