The Dream Center

Community organization name

The Dream Center

Organization's website

http://www.denverdreamcenter.org

Tell us a little more about this organization. Please include detailed ways in which this organization makes strides to make a positive impact in their community and what future goals are for this organization.

The Denver Police Department is honored to nominate The Dream Center for the 2022 Axon Community organization award. The Dream Center’s Mission statement summarizes their commitment to the community. “Our mission is to connect broken people to a community of support by providing free resources and services that address immediate and long-term needs in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, addiction, abuse, education and assisting those transitioning from various levels of incarceration.” The Dream Center has been an active partner for years with the Denver Police Department in our mutual efforts to improve the lives of those living in Denver. Below is a list of events the DPD has partnered with the Dream Center in 2021: • Coffee with the Cops - The DPD downtown district hosts in its station an informal get together between officers and recently paroled individuals. - Over coffee and donuts, the officers and parolees share their stories in a non-judgmental setting. - For the officers it shows that people can change and have “second chances”, and for the parolees it allows them to see the human behind the badge. • The annual “Cops vs the Cons” Softball game - Denver Police officers vs. formerly incarcerated people softball game - With a restorative Justice feel, this event brings the two sides together in a fun, athletic event where both sides can just be human. It is a break from the uniform for the officers and a break from the stigma for the parolees. All get to compete, have fun, and laugh together while a healthy bond is formed when they eat together after. The parolees and officers’ families come to support everyone. - Because of the support for law enforcement that the Dream Center builds, the kids love the cops. It is a chance for the whole family, the mom, children, and parolees to experience a positive connection with law enforcement in a fun and stress-free environment. • Former Bronco, Jordan Norwood Classic - Denver Broncos retiree Jordan Norwood hosts an Annual fundraiser for the Denver Dream Center. In 2021, a big push for funding came in response to the increase in youth violence in Denver. • Hoops for Hope - hosted by the Denver Nuggets - The Dream Center THRIVE program focuses on building healthy youth from within our city. They host a basketball youth clinic at the Ball Arena (Denver Nuggets game facility). - Once a year they partner to host a basketball game between Denver Police Officers and the formerly incarcerated people that are in the Dream Center’s programs. • Father’s Day prisoner/ parolee BBQ - Focuses on restoration for the families of the men who are currently incarcerated and those recently released from custody. - The Denver Police have a visible active role in this event to show support and to try to break down the barriers between the “us versus them” mentality. • Prayer Walks - In response to gang related gun violence throughout the city, the Dream Center partners with communities to pray for those affected and to build relationships to help prevent future violence. • Christmas in the City to support Denver Housing Authority - Thousands of kids sponsored by community members receive gifts at Coors Field and meet Santa. - This event is heavily attended by uniform DPD officers showing the strong partnership between DPD and The Dream Center. • Major supporter of National Night out: - Partnering with DPD to show support in local communities to take back control of their communities and show solidarity in the desire for a safe environment for all. • Adopt A Block (twice a month): - Officers and community volunteers go out into the low-income communities with food, clothing, and other practical items for those in need. • Street Outreach (weekly): - The Hope Dealers (Previously incarcerated felons) “don’t deal dope, they deal hope”. Dream Center staff and DPD partner to go out into the community weekly with resources, food, trash bags, etc. • Support / Phone tree: - The Dream Center created a phone tree system in which the men or women coming out of prison can call 24-7 when they need help. The phone number triages within several team members to give support. • Family Support for incarcerated persons: - If a teammate recidivates and goes back in the system to serve time, the team stays connected and helps the family members who are left behind. In officers' personal time, they have helped them pack and move their possessions into storage facilities until they get released back into society. • Mother’s Day Event: - Denver policewomen along with the Dream Center staff hosted a Mother’s Day appreciation event for the single moms who are struggling to make ends meet. • Weekly Food Fridays at the Ball Arena: - Throughout the pandemic when churches were closing, the Dream Center doubled down by hosting a weekly food give away to those with food insecurities. • Annual Halloween Party: - Co-hosted a Halloween celebration with the DPD Lowrider (specialty vehicle). - Providing a safe event for kids. • Martin Luther King Jr Weekend Food / Clothing Drive Partnered with Convoy of Hope: - 4,500 bags of food, 1,000 pair of shoes and socks given in addition to DPD’s coats from Dependable Cleaners • Proud Partners of DPD’s first community therapy dog: - DPD started a program in 2021 where a trained therapy dog is taken out into the community by one of our officers to help build bridges between the marginalized communities and the police. - The therapy dog, “Shelby” has been a huge hit and has helped break-down barriers by getting individuals and officers interacting in a positive non-enforcement environment. - The Dream Center has been a sponsoring partner in this new DPD program - #therapup • Regular distribution of food to low-income households: - Biweekly distribution of food at Denver Housing Authority neighborhoods • Hosting events at Rec Centers: - Youth events at the public rec center to give youth activities to keep them engaged and occupied and out of trouble. • Collaborated with DPD on outreach events at known violent crime locations: - Partnering with DPD with outreach events - Clean-ups of the area - Giving out food to those in need in the area - Positive engagement with this community • Hosted yearly event “A Christmas to Remember” : - for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families - catered meal - gifts for their kids • Support for the Denver Police officers: - Dream Center staff regularly stop by a police station to show support and bring food for the officers - This support, especially during the pandemic, helped to build the morale of officers. SUMMARY: The mutual partnership between the non-profit community organization, The Dream Center, and the Denver Police Department is invaluable when it comes to helping specific individuals as well as the greater Denver Community. The Dream Center has a can-do attitude when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in our society. Their efforts to help formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society not only helps that individual and their family, but it helps the community as a whole with one less person in the already strained justice system. The Denver Police Department is proud of our partnership with Dream Center, and we are equally proud to be able to nominate the Dream Center for the Axon Rise Community award for 2022.

If selected as a winner, how will the $7,500 prize money be applied?

It will go back into the programs The Dream Center has to support the community.