In 1987, residents of Westwood, led in part by current SWIC Executive Director Jan Marie Belle, formed a grassroots organization dedicated to serving the people of southwest Denver. Calling themselves the SouthWest Improvement Council (SWIC), these early pioneers cleaned up yards and alleys, painted over graffiti, and reached out to homebound elders. By 1992, SWIC had expanded its services and needed more space. They began operating out of the Westwood Community Center at 1000 S. Lowell Blvd.
In 1995, SWIC staff and Board of Directors created more affordable housing in southwest Denver by forming the Southwest Neighborhood Housing Corporation. The SWNHC currently provides rental units at below-market rates for qualified families and individuals.
In January 2008, southwest Denver neighbors saw the completion of a full remodel of the Westwood Community Center, also known as the Southwest Denver Community Center. To read more about the history of the Southwest Improvement Council, check out this section from Sharon Catlett’s book, Farmlands, Forts, and Country Life: The Story of Southwest Denver.