Best Place for a Musician in Hard Times 2020 | Big Daddy's Jewelry and Pawn | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Those musicians who have fallen victim to show cancellations can still get their instrument to work for them by pawning it at this longtime family-owned and -operated business. It will be just like your instrument is going on tour, just without you. Big Daddy will loan cash on the dollar and give you a ten-day grace period after thirty days are up to cover the interest. Kick the COVID-19 blues and recoup your instrument after it all blows over.

Remote access and delivery have become critical for everything from education to groceries...but birth control is more accessible than ever. Planned Parenthood Direct is a mobile app provided locally by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Birth-control pills are available for $25 per pack with a twelve-month prescription, and no visit is necessary; other forms of birth control include the patch and ring. As an added convenience, your prescription will be mailed directly to your door with no charge for delivery.

Being stuck at home can quickly become isolating, and Maxfund Animal Shelter is here to help, with a temporary foster program that allows you to take care of a kitty without the pressure of committing to becoming a full-time pet owner. The shelter is looking for homes that can temporarily foster cats — especially felines with medical needs — so that furry friends requiring special attention can have the human support they require. Think of the possibilities: Adopting a cat could teach kids with sudden free time how to be responsible pet owners or be the solution for a grandmother with no one to talk to.

As growing public-health concerns overlap heavily with the needs of unhoused individuals and people who inject drugs, the demand for the Harm Reduction Action Center's services is on the rise. Instead of closing its doors, the nonprofit is meeting the current challenge by continuing its mobile street-outreach program and offering the option of short visits to wash hands, pick up hygiene kits and dispose of needles at its new brick-and-mortar location during the day. The center's no-judgment approach to health and human services is a model that works.

Best Organization Serving Homeless Women and Transgender People

The Delores Project

For the past two decades, the Dolores Project has provided both overnight shelter and permanent housing options for single women and transgender individuals across Denver. The organization's emergency services include meals, toiletries, hot showers, access to health-care services and more. The nonprofit also works with women re-entering the community after incarceration, a vulnerable time when it can be especially difficult to find supportive housing. Like many organizations serving the community during this crisis, the Delores Project has committed to staying open and staying accessible for women and transgender people in need.

Life goes on, COVID-19 crisis or not, and many of Denver's most vulnerable individuals are still facing the same everyday challenges of finding adequate food, shelter and mental health support. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is working overtime to meet people where they are by adding additional health-care staff, seeking out and paying for motel rooms as emergency housing, and continuing to operate its Stout Street Health Center. While the Coalition has had to close down and limit some services out of safety, it's not giving up, but working harder than ever to serve people dealing with Denver's newly combined health and housing crises.

Journalists don't generally play nicely with others, much less collaborate with people from the other side of the office. But most journalists haven't worked at the Grid, a shared workspace that puts all of those packaged WeWork efforts to shame. Even before the coronavirus crisis hit, Westword employees exiled from their former office before their new one was finished found a welcoming haven here, with free Wednesday breakfasts and beer taps open at 4 p.m., fueling friendly conversations between not just other businesses, but Westword workers who had never crossed paths before. And now? It's a refuge, a space of sanity, our home away from home.

Best Journalist to Follow for the Latest on COVID-19

Kyle Clark, 9News

In addition to his talents as a broadcaster, which are marked by curiosity, humor and a willingness to call bullshit when necessary on even the most powerful figures, 9News anchor Kyle Clark is also a master of social media — and this last skill has been very much in evidence as COVID-19 has become by far the biggest story of the year. On his Twitter account, Clark shares his own material, including a recent interview with Governor Jared Polis in which he pushed him on a variety of hot topics, and re-tweets smart posts from other sources that find Clark essentially serving as a virtual curator of important virus updates.


The folks at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment know the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in residents of the state being absolutely deluged with misinformation from a wide variety of sources. In an attempt to counter such contagious nonsense, they've put together a website in an incredibly short period of time that's dedicated to the facts as we know them from moment to moment. In addition to details about the virus, complete with data visualizations, the online destination provides answers to frequently asked questions about testing, prevention, isolation, quarantine and more; connects visitors to telehealth and nurseline services; and even offers tips about reducing fear and stress. Of which we're all feeling plenty these days.

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