Our HistoryThere are 4 Chapters - East, North, South & Southwest
A Brief History of the Denver Senior Coalitions
North West Denver Council for Seniors (NWDCS) was the first “Coalition”, now known as a Chapter of the Denver Senior Coalitions and now shortened to the North Chapter.
North West Denver Council for Seniors (NWDCS) was originally founded in 1983 by a group of people who were concerned about speaking up for seniors. Father Frank Gold was one of the group. They met periodically to talk about senior issues, especially transportation.
1985 – Sister Georgeann Quinlan, BVM began to attend meetings and offered to chair them. These early meetings were held in facilities, and had speakers. The group reached out to other professionals working with seniors to get more members to attend and join NWDCS.
The three purposes of the NWDCS were:
- EDUCATION – about what is going on in the senior field, research, diseases, topics of interest to those working with/ in behalf of seniors.
- ADVOCACY – being a voice for seniors in legislation, health care, community forums
- NETWORKING – sharing our services, making referrals to each other, etc.
A JOB CLEARING HOUSE was begun for those seeking jobs and those who have employment opportunities.
A brochure/ list of members began to be published.
Eventually, there became a need for another coalition located in the east area of Denver, then the Southwest coalition for that area. Many people found it advantageous to go to all three. The leadership developed as did technology.
The Assistance Fund:
The Assistance Fund began with NWDCS in 1989 to meet the need of seniors who have one-time financial needs. It also developed with the other coalitions. Eventually we saw the advantage of having a Joint Coalition Assistance Fund.
The Chapters began Assistance Funds:
- Northwest Chapter began in 1983 and added the assistance fund in 1989
- East Chapter began in 1988 and added the assistance fund in 1995
- Southwest began in 1993 and added the assistance fund in 1999
The early logos of the coalitions:
The Joint Coalition Assistance Fund (JCAF) was begun in 1999 in order to:
- Simplify the process for social workers and others applying for funds so that they would only need to ask at one place for money instead of two or three.
- Enable the JCAF to grant larger amounts of money to recipients
- Keep better record of grants given to seniors.
A lawyer assisted the committee bro-bono. He suggested keeping things simple and approved the guidelines which were set up. Each year a set of guidelines and an application blank is revised and disseminated for all three coalition. Each coalition chapter elected a representative for the JCAF. These reps take turns helping with the application process. Pat Harper was the first coordinator of the JCAF fund and filled that position for around 20 years. We are most grateful to Pat for her years of service.
In 2016 the South Chapter was started:
In 2016 the South Chapter was formed which covers Douglas County including Castle Rock. In anticipation of adding the “South Chapter” the Presidents moved to start referring to the individual coalitions as Chapters: East, Northwest, South and Southwest.
In 2017, Denver Senior Coalitions officially became 4 chapters: East, Northwest, South and Southwest. Then in 2018 the Northwest Chapter was renamed the North Chapter as we now have meetings that are close to and east of I-25. Imagine if you will, what Northwest Denver looked like in 1983 when the Northwest Denver Council for Seniors was formed.
A message from Sister Georgeann Quinlan, BVM
I’d like to thank all the leadership of all of the coalitions over the years. We have certainly come a long way from the 8-10 people who used to meet in 1983 – Respectfully submitted, Sister Georgeann Quinlan, BVM
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