Denver is enriched by the talents, culture, contributions, and assets of all of its residents, including more than 110,000 foreign-born people. The Denver Safety Priorities Enforcement Act signed into law in 2017, established that each city agency designates a liaison to serve our Immigrant and Refugee community. At Denver Human Services we strive to fulfill our mission in helping all people in need. Together with our city leadership, local elected officials, and all city agencies, we stand in solidarity to ensure Denver remains a welcoming city.
The PINA program connects New Americans to Denver Human Services’ programs to ensure equitable access to resources across all Denver neighborhoods.
Meet Ola Kukoyi
Ola Kukoyi is the Administrator for the PINA program. She is an expert in matters impacting immigrants and refugees. She teaches to, and engages with DHS staff about policies, legislation, and advocacy efforts that are relevant to New Americans.
Ola earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Colorado School of Public Health-University of Colorado, specializing in Community and Behavioral Health. She is an immigrant herself, and boasts more than two decades of service to underserved communities on local and global scales.
An avid volunteer and leader, you will see Ola out in the community - serving the city, state and country in various advocacy roles. She is proficient in multiple languages and has traversed the globe, embodying the spirit of a world traveler.
Questions? Email PINA@denvergov.org
Resource Navigation for Immigrants and Refugees
The PINA Program is here to support immigrants and refugees with resource navigation. To get started, please fill out the PINA referral form at the link below, or by scanning the QR code with your smart device.
PINA Referral Form for Resource Navigation
PINA in the Community
DIRC Commission with Mayor Johnston - August 2023
Ola Kukoyi is a program administrator for PINA. She represents DHS on the Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission (DIRC), one of 10 Denver's Human Rights and Community Partnerships (HRCP) commissions. Each commission deals with challenges facing underrepresented and marginalized communities.
In her role, Kukoyi attended a questions and answer (Q&A) session with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston on August 30, 2023. The event let HRCP commissioners meet the new mayor and talk about important issues.
Kukoyi spoke with Mayor Johnston about the difficulties facing immigrants and refugees.
"I left with a sense of optimism," Kukoyi said. "[I believe] the mayor is off to a great start in his commitment to the goals and plans that would benefit the diverse communities of Denver."
Global Fest - August 2023
PINA Program Administrator Ola Kukoyi attended the annual Global Fest in Aurora on August 19, 2023. She co-facilitated the Parade of Nations celebration on behalf of the Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission (DIRC), where she is a commissioner representing Denver Human Services (DHS).
The parade drew about 5,000 people representing more than 30 countries. Kukoyi helped bridge connections between Denver and Aurora, meeting with other community advocates and city servants who support New Americans (or, immigrants and refugees and their families).
2023 Colorado Health Symposium - July 2023
The PINA Program was one of several local and statewide community groups at the Colorado Health Symposium, which took place July 26-28, 2023. The event drew more than 600 people to the Keystone Resort Center.
The central theme for this year's event was "People-Powered Transformation." During the event, PINA Administrator Ola Kukoyi met with a number of community partners. These new connections will help PINA better advocate for causes supporting immigrants and refugees.
Community and Listening Circles - July 2023
On July 12, 2023, the PINA program held the first ever Community and Listening Circles event. This conversation-driven luncheon offered the community a chance to have open and meaningful dialogue about how well the city is serving New Americans (immigrants and refugees) in Denver. These listening circles offer people and organizations with diverse backgrounds an opportunity to share feedback, concerns, and celebrations related to city services.
24 people attended the event, representing a number of city agencies and community organizations. These included Montbello Organizing Community (MOC), Denver’s Office for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (DOIRA), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If I am undocumented and apply for public assistance through Denver Human Services will this impact my immigration status?
Our caseworkers are trained and ready to support you. Our team will be able to identify which resources you are eligible for based on your current immigration status.
If I do not have lawful status but my children do, are they eligible for benefits?
We understand there are families with mixed status households. If you do not have lawful presence, it is possible that a family member in your household can still qualify for vital resources.
Will the use of public benefits disqualify me from obtaining citizenship?
Immigration laws in the United States are very complex. It is always best to consult with a trusted immigration lawyer who can review your specific situation.
What if I need to access emergency services such as a Denver Human Service Mobile Food Pantry?
All Denver residents, regardless of immigration status, are welcome at our mobile food pantries.
Events are held every month. Add these events to your calendar by visiting our event pages: DHS East Office and Empower Field at Mile High - Parking Lot E (New Location).
You do not need to prove lawful status to be eligible to receive free food. Our staff and volunteers will never ask for proof of citizenship to receive emergency food assistance at our mobile food pantries.
We're here to support you.
From housing and healthy food to child support and medical assistance — no matter your need, our team is here to help you be supported. Visit Colorado PEAK to start your benefits application today. If you have questions, give us a call at 720-944-4DHS (4347). Together, we've got this!