Mobile Social Services Address Gaps in Suburban Colorado

In the Denver suburb of Aurora, nonprofits are using 'mobile public spaces' to reach refugees settling in the autocentric community.

1 minute read

January 19, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado is one of the American cities to watch for experiments in intercultural urbanism / Dean Saitta

Erica Dorn reports on efforts underway in Aurora, Colorado to find innovative ways to provide social services in dispersed, auto-dependent suburbs that are becoming increasingly diverse. With a population that speaks over 160 languages, the community, according to Dorn, reflects the future of the American suburb. But suburbs are also experiencing a rise in poverty rates and an increasing number of residents that rely on social services that are often scarce in suburban areas.

Organizations like Project Worthmore are creating decentralized service hubs that can provide access to more of Aurora's refugee and immigrant populations. Casa de Paz, a nonprofit serving immigrants released from ICE detention, recently launched Casa on Wheels, a "mobile welcoming center" that greets asylum seekers just outside the ICE detention center and provides essential supplies like clothing, food, and assistance in accessing support programs.

Advocates point out that these are stopgap measures, but that the goal of inclusive, sustainable suburban communities will require a deeper commitment to and investment in stable affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and good jobs. As Dorn notes, "While expanding mobile offerings is essential, looking ahead, suburbs must invest in infrastructure, economic development, and placemaking that build true communities for new and old residents alike."

Thursday, January 13, 2022 in The Brookings Institution

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Clpse=up of Uber and Lyft stickers inside a car windshield.

Minnesota Lawmakers Reach Ride Share Compromise

A law awaiting the governor’s signature establishes wage rates for drivers. Ride share companies say if the law passes, they plan to continue service in the state.

2 minutes ago - Minnesota House of Representatives

Green and silver CTfastrak bus at a station in Elmwood, Connecticut.

Connecticut Bus System Earns Top Ranking

Hartford’s CTfastrak system wins out over other US bus networks for service quality and connectivity.

1 hour ago - CT Insider

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21 - The Architect's Newspaper

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.