Southwest Denver Coalition: Connection, Collaboration, and Community

Since 2008, Southwest Denver Coalition (SWDC) has created connections across the southwest Denver community with the goal of providing valuable resources and services to families throughout southwest Denver neighborhoods (from Colfax Avenue to Hampden Avenue, and Sheridan Blvd. to South Platte River Drive). Through collaborations with nearly hundreds of organizations, monthly meetings, programs, and events, SWDC serves at least 10,000 people annually, connecting residents to a variety of resources such as employment, childcare, food, and other essential resources. 

“I grew up here, went to school here, and lived here most of my life, so it’s been an incredible experience to lead this important work and make a difference in our community,” said Kasandra Ornelas, SWDC’s Executive Director, who has been involved in the organization since its inception. “When we started there weren’t many direct services in the area and the community didn’t always know where to access resources and services. SWDC extensive collaboration has been able to help bring together vital services and resources while building trust throughout the community so people feel comfortable coming to us and asking us for assistance.” 

SWDC has become this connector to community members to more than 90 partner organizations, one of which is Denver Preschool Program (DPP). 

“We’ve been able to help DPP connect more directly with our community, which is important in building relationships,” Ornelas said. 

In addition to attending and presenting at SWDC’s monthly meetings, DPP also supports many of SWDC’s events, including Safe Summer Kickoff on Get Outdoors Day, which DPP has sponsored and participated in since 2017.  Hosted by SWDC, Denver Parks & Recreation, and My Outdoor Colorado, this year’s event is June 8th from 10am to 3pm at Garfield Lake Park. This free, family-friendly event is designed to promote access to healthy and safe outdoor spaces, support under-resourced communities, and celebrate nature exploration. At the event, DPP will host a Neighborhood Preschool Showcase featuring local preschool providers. Look for DPP with the blue tents near the playground.

“DPP’s financial support to families is so critical and something we strive to share with all families who have young children,” Ornelas said. “We’ve found that having DPP at events makes such an impact as families are more likely to take action either on the spot or follow up once they have met someone who is connected to the organization. It’s that extra, personal touch that makes a big difference to residents in the community.” 

More information about Safe Summer Kickoff on Get Outdoors Day can be found at:

SWDC has several other events planned throughout the summer and fall as well, including: 

  • National Night Out
  • Back to School Supply Giveaway
  • Thanksgiving Giveaway
  • Holiday Gift Giveaway 

DPP is grateful to collaborate with SWDC and looks forward to our continued partnership.