Denver Public Schools is working with the City of Denver and community partners to open community hubs. These hubs are a key part of our strategy. We understand that some students find it hard to learn because they are hungry, tired, hurt, sad, or have other basic needs. The hubs will provide services to address these needs. We know that families and communities work hard to care for their kids, so the hubs will also support family and community members. We will use research to guide how we provide services. With these supports, all students will have an equal chance to learn and thrive.
The Hubs opened in Fall of 2022 with six hubs. Every hub opened with people ready to listen to the needs of adults and children. Based on what hub staff learn, they will be able to connect adults and children to the best services. During the next year, and in future years, each hub will offer more services at its location. Local community members will help us choose which services to offer. If it is helpful for some services to be offered at school locations, we will do this as well. We will also move hub locations, if desired, based on community feedback.
We understand that some of the services we will offer are very needed and want to share them as soon as we can. We chose hub locations near communities that we believe need the services most. Our conclusions are based on our conversations with the community as well as formal research from the City of Denver. We plan to learn if our judgment is correct by Winter 2023. If we are wrong, we will move the hub locations. We want to support and build on existing community work. If a service is already being offered in a community, we will work to connect families with that service. If a service is not already being offered in a community, then we will work to find money to pay for that service so that we can bring it to the community through a hub, or through one of the schools in the community.
Current Community Hub Locations
- Place Bridge Academy (Southeast Region): 720-424-1040
- Colfax Elementary (Northwest Region): 720-423-1180
- Smith Elementary (Near Northeast Region): 720-423-1170
- Focus Points (Central Region): 303-877-7831
- John H. Amesse (Far Northeast Region): 720-424-2961
- Johnson Elementary (Southwest Region): 720-424-2970
Interested in helping to inform the design of each of these hubs? Sign up to be invited to feedback sessions.
Services offered vary by hub
The services that will be offered at each hub will be based on the needs of the local community and may include the following. We want community members to suggest new services that are not listed if needed.
- Case management
- Workforce development
Job placement, interview preparation, resume building, workforce training
- Basic needs assistance
Food, housing, clothing, energy outreach
- Social emotional supports and mental health services
- ESL classes for adults
- Language services
- Financial literacy
- GED classes
- Citizenship classes
- Early literacy classes
- Hiring pipeline
- Computer classes
- Parenting classes
- Free childcare
For immigrant and refugee families:
- Newcomer identification and placement
In conjunction with Choice & Enrollment and schools
- Newcomer and immigrant family specific workshops
- Free childcare
- Access to supports in home language
- Basic needs support for students
School supplies, backpacks, uniforms
- Support in navigating DPS and the US school system
Multilingual education family liaisons support Multilingual, Newcomer, Immigrant, and Refugee families throughout DPS. They can support families by helping them navigate the Denver Public School’s System, connecting families to community resources, and creating family engagement and involvement opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are community hubs?
Community hubs are a partnership between Denver Public Schools, the City of Denver, and local community organizations. Hubs provide services that support the social, emotional, physical and academic needs of adults and children so that all students will have an equal chance to learn and thrive.
When will the community hubs first open their doors?
The community hubs opened on Nov. 9, 2022.
Who will the community hubs serve?
All adults and children. You do not need to know a DPS student to access services.
Why is DPS planning on offering so many services that benefit adults?
Research shows that you can improve outcomes more if you support both adults and children. Some of the problems children face cannot be fixed without working with adults, and those problems make it hard for children to learn. DPS is focused on children, but we are partnering with the city of Denver and other organizations to strengthen families and communities because strong families and communities are good for kids.
What impact does DPS hope to achieve with the launch of these community hubs?
All students will have an equal chance to learn and thrive. For example, students who are hungry can gain access to food. Students who are tired because they did not have a safe place to sleep the night before can gain access to stable housing. Students who are distracted or sad because of violence in their neighborhood can talk to someone and address their feelings. With this support, these students can come to school and learn with the same focus as other students.
Will DPS seek to close schools to find buildings for community hubs?
No. Community hub locations are selected based on where communities need services. We have community hub locations and will only seek to move them if there is a good reason.
What prompted DPS’ decision to launch these community hubs?
The idea for community hubs came from three sources. First, community feedback during the superintendent’s listening tour. Second, feedback about how our kids need extra support was gathered from school leaders and teachers. Finally, we heard from our children.
How will families from non-hub locations access community hub services?
We are working with school leaders to rotate many hub services into all of our schools so that each community has access to services. We have also selected sites near major RTD lines, will plan to provide transportation and will have virtual options.
What will be the hours of operation for the community hubs?
The hours for each community hub varies to meet the needs of their community.
Why is DPS opening community hubs when other organizations have existing hubs already in place?
Hubs are most valuable to those near the hub. In order to ensure everyone can access services equally, the city thus benefits from as many hubs as possible. We are actively coordinating with existing hubs to ensure we are collectively serving adults and children well. We also believe that DPS can play a role in supporting all Denver community hubs by helping to identify those who would want services and telling them where to find the services.
Why is DPS expending resources on opening community hubs instead of focusing on improving the quality of schools in each neighborhood?
Our caring educators cannot ignore a hungry child. We are working closely with the city and community to meet the child’s basic needs so that our educators can stay focused on supporting teaching and learning and improving the quality of schools in each neighborhood. District resources are focused on making connections between those in need and those who provide related services. The district is not paying for all services. Instead, we are working with partners, including the City of Denver.
How will DPS ensure that there is ongoing funding to sustain these community hubs for years to come?
The City of Denver already funds these services. Our community hubs are designed to connect adults and children to these existing resources. The district has also looked at how to organize people best to support students. We have cut some positions in order to add new positions that can support community hubs on an ongoing basis.
How can I provide feedback on the types of services I would like to see offered?
Join the planning team for your local community hub by filling out this form.
Are there other cities and/or school districts that have implemented similar initiatives?
Yes. The work we are doing in Denver is similar to work being done at Valley Settlement in Glenwood Springs, CO, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Sparkpoint Centers in Northern California and the Our Center in Longmont, CO. Overall, community hubs are aligned with the national research and best practices of the Aspen Institute for the two-generation approach.
What does this initiative mean for the city’s efforts to open Youth Empowerment Centers?
These are Youth Empowerment Centers. Through collaboration, Denver Public Schools and the City of Denver are able to roll out this important work more thoughtfully and quickly.
Who can I contact with questions?
We have recruited several community organizations to join our advisory panel, including:
- Montbello Organizing Committee
- Denver Housing Authority
- African Chamber of Commerce
- Westwood Unidos
- SW Denver Coalition
- Spring Institute
- Focus Points
- African Leadership Group
- Movimiento Poder
We are also working with several city agencies to support this work, including:
- Human Services
- Public Safety
- Public Health and Environment
- Economic Opportunity & Development
- Housing Authority
- Parks & Recreation
- Financial Empowerment & Protection
- Children’s Affairs
We also continue to meet with others and expect our partnerships to grow in the future.