Denver 'Sneaks A Peek' at the Youth Empowerment Center
Published on September 16, 2021
– The City and County of Denver yesterday hosted its Youth Empowerment Center
‘Sneak A Peek’ event, providing the community a glimpse inside the new facility and a preview of the center’s offering as a unique and safe space for youth and their families to access support services.
Services at the Youth Empowerment Center will include workforce development, vocational and entrepreneurial training, educational assistance, recreational activities, wrap-around/trauma-informed programming, and resources for mental health and youth violence prevention.
“The Youth Empowerment Center has been a shared vision of Denver's young people, my administration and our community-based organizations as one of many strategies to prevent youth violence,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “This center would not have been possible without that collaboration and the active input of our youth leaders to create a space to positively impact youth, their families and our communities.”
Based on the vision and awareness of Denver youth around the importance of meeting the community where they are, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) purchased the former Police Activities League’s (PAL) building in October 2020, securing a much-needed safe space for city programming and services.
In partnership with the Office of Children’s Affairs, numerous city agencies worked together to host the ‘Sneak A Peek’ event, and event sponsors included Comcast, Denver Water and Denver Health. Families and youth who attended had access to a youth job fair hosted by DEDO, along with Denver Health’s COVID vaccination clinic, and enjoyed free food trucks and a school supply giveaway, both sponsored by Comcast.
“We are grateful for Denver’s leadership and partnership in ensuring more people can connect to what matters most,” said Jeff Dolan, Vice President External Affairs Comcast Mountain West Region. “Through our Lift Zone connectivity center at the Youth Empowerment Center – and at neighborhood centers across the city – we are providing a safe place for more people to have access to a free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection, so they can get the digital skills training and services they need.”
“When speaking to youth about what was needed to prevent youth violence, they spoke about the need for more places they can go for support,” said Joey Pace, Director of Youth and Community Engagement for the Office of Children’s Affairs. “The Youth Empowerment Center will now become one of those places where youth can get support in workforce readiness, education, mental health and everything else they need to feel safe and supported. We are excited about this center and hope it is the first of many to come in Denver.”
The Youth Empowerment Center is located at 1240 W. Bayaud Avenue, Denver, CO 80223 and not currently open to the public. The Office of Children’s Affairs will be selecting an operations vendor and creating an oversight committee to ensure programming continues to resonate with youth and families in the surrounding community. The center is scheduled to open in the late spring or early summer of 2022, with most of the programs and services geared for families with youth between the ages of 12 – 24.
Learn more about Denver’s Youth Empowerment Center and the city's efforts to prevent youth violence by visiting denvergov.org/youthviolenceprevention.