We Cannot Do This Work Alone
Government can’t do it alone. Business can’t do it alone. And, nonprofit organizations can’t do it alone. The Barton Institute will bring together people from different sectors and combine them with resources from DU to address major social challenges.
Tiny Home Initiative
In its first cross-sector partnership, the Barton Institute is collaborating with the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and Colorado Village Collaborative to develop Denver's first tiny home community. Construction of Beloved Community Village broke ground on May 20 with the support of 100 community volunteers and with the financial backing of individual community members contributing $10 to $1,000 totaling close to $60,000. The Village will have eleven tiny homes supporting at least fourteen people with stable housing, a supportive community, and employment and other services.
The Barton Institute granted $20,000 to help the Beloved Community Village, and then challenged other funders to join them with an offer to match the next $20,000 in gifts, boosting fundraising for Phase 1 of the project past the finish line. While the Barton Institute is not a traditional grantmaker, we do support key projects where various sectors come together to address major social issues – particularly when the people most affected are involved in developing the solution.
From July 2017 – April 2018 the University of Denver’s Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Colorado Village Collaborative’s Beloved Community Village, Denver's first tiny-home village.
The results of the evaluation indicate that the Village is a success for both the residents themselves and for the surrounding community.
When a student struggles in school and is referred for discipline to the school administration, educators are clearer than ever that suspension is not the answer. Educators are increasingly using what are called "restorative practices" or "restorative justice" as strategies to address the harm the student has caused, while keeping that student in school and learning.
The Barton Institute is investing in the expansion of restorative practices in Denver Public School District. The district received a grant from the Colorado Department of Education to create a cohort of schools working to improve these practices. The Barton Institute added three additional schools to bring the cohort to fourteen – including elementary, middle, and high schools from low-income communities throughout Metro Denver. The goal is to keep students in school and learning – and to improve academic growth over time.