Roots & Branches Foundation Grants Over $50,000 to Nonprofits Supporting Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

In 2019, Roots & Branches Foundation (R&B) granted $53,416 to reduce recidivism rates in the Greater Denver region. The 18-member cohort funded three local nonprofits working to support formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families, as they reenter society.

Guided by their shared Jewish values of v’hechezekta bo (you shall strengthen), lo ta’amod al dam rei’echa (do not stand idly by) and tzedakah (give in pursuit of justice), the 2019 members leveraged their grantmaking dollars to address the root causes of recidivism. The organizations they funded provide critical services to the formerly incarcerated – from job training to case management to self-empowerment – in an effort to right the scales of a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects people of color and low-income individuals.

“The three organizations we gave grants to take a comprehensive approach to disrupting cycles of incarceration,” said R&B member Ben Figa. “Our cohort was incredibly impressed by the massive impact these groups have in the community.”

Listed below are the nonprofit organizations in the Greater Denver community that received grants:

  • Work Options for Women: $16,170 for program support for the Mobile Culinary Classroom that provides employment training for women impacted by the criminal justice system to enter the culinary workforce.
  • Second Chance Center: $18,623 for general operating support for case management, mentoring and vital resources to assist formerly incarcerated individuals in reestablishing their lives and becoming successful members in the community.
  • Colorado Circles for Change: $18,623 for general operating support to create a pathway for youth to discover sacred relationships with self, family and community to reduce juvenile violence and incarceration.

Roots & Branches Foundation is an initiative of Rose Community Foundation that engages Jewish young adults, ages 25 to 40, in collaborative philanthropy. Each year, a new group of 18 members works together to identify needs in the community, learn about philanthropy, and make grants in the greater Denver area. R&B members encompass the spectrum of Jewish denominations and bring a wide range of personal and professional experiences to the grantmaking process. Since 2007, Roots & Branches Foundation has granted more than $890,000 to strengthen the Greater Denver and Boulder Jewish and broader communities.

Applications to participate in the 2020 cohort of Roots & Branches Foundation will open in the spring. Please contact Rose Community Foundation’s initiatives manager Emily Kornhauser for more information.

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