Opus Foundation® Supports Denver Inner City Parish with COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant


​You've no doubt heard the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going." That is exactly what Denver Inner City Parish (DICP) recently did when COVID-19 hit in Colorado.

Normally, the Denver nonprofit administers programs to help break the cycle of poverty, including education and youth development, hunger relief, health and wellness and community resource navigation support. But when COVID-19 became a real threat, Executive Director Larry Martinez and the DICP team mobilized and adjusted programming to meet the community's most urgent and life-sustaining needs: food, safety and security. They focused all collective efforts on getting food and basic needs kits into the hands of low-income, older adults and other vulnerable populations. They're also offering help navigating systems for applying for unemployment, public benefits and utility assistance.

To support DICP's efforts, the Opus Foundation® awarded the organization with a $30,000 grant as part of its COVID-19 emergency response. 

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, we were in communication with the Opus Foundation about supporting a computer coding educational program," said Martinez. “When it became clear we needed to pivot and focus solely on COVID-19 relief, Opus made it easy and painless. They understood our need was immediate, so instead of requiring a formal grant request, they simply asked us to answer a few questions about our intentions and the grant was approved."  

DICP is using the money to purchase and distribute packages containing food, hygiene supplies, diapers and other basic needs, as well as to obtain personal protective equipment for staff and volunteers. In mid-March, the funding allowed DICP to transform its food pantry from a client-choice, grocery store model to a drive-thru and walk-up model. They used that model for three weeks before DICP moved to a no-contact, delivery-only system to further ensure the safety of clients. With that system, boxes are dropped at the recipient's front door, and rendezvous meeting places are arranged for clients experiencing homelessness. 

“My first interaction with Opus was in 2018," said Martinez. “The company was in the beginning stages of developing a property in the same neighborhood as DICP. They went out of their way and sought us out, asking how they could connect with us and support our mission. They truly care about our community. They provided us with a grant in 2018 and now again in 2020." 

DICP was established in 1960 in response to the growing number of impoverished families living in Denver's West Side neighborhood. Since that time, the nonprofit has expanded its programs to include the entire Denver metro area. DICP's mission is to love and support individuals and families, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty through programs that relieve suffering, promote self-sufficiency, enrich lives and address obstacles associated with poverty.


Always committed to making our communities better places to live, work and play, the Opus Foundation® quickly mobilized a COVID-19 emergency response across our markets. See the full list of recipients here.


The Opus Foundation is building community for a better tomorrow by supporting projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families through grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of early childhood education, youth development, workforce development, community revitalization and pressing/emerging needs. Read more about the Foundation's work.