City announces $950,000 in grants awarded to organizations serving system-involved youth

December 03, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Metro Council members and the city’s Office of Youth Development (OYD) to announce awardees of the Creating Structures of Support for System-Involved Youth funding opportunity. Three organizations – Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, YouthBuild Louisville (Coalition Supporting Young Adults) and Louisville Urban League – were selected to receive a minimum of $300,000 each, totaling $950,000.

The Creating Structures of Support for System-Involved Youth funding opportunity was created to support youth and young adults, ages 16 to 24, who are experiencing disconnection (not in school and not working) and/or involved in the juvenile justice, child welfare system, or both, with a specific emphasis on youth who are incarcerated, in foster care, or youth exiting or having exited these systems.

The grants are designed to build a comprehensive support system to provide better access to education and workforce opportunities to help underserved youth succeed in school, career, and civic life. Selected applicants demonstrated focus in at least one of the following areas: centralization, client-centered case management, outreach and peer support.

The grantees were selected through a NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) process managed by the Office of Youth Development, part of the Office of Resilience and Community Services. OYD will also be overseeing the administration of the grants. 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped our city and our entire nation, system-involved youth, who are neither enrolled in school nor employed, are facing even greater challenges,” said the Mayor. “My administration is working with community partners every day to make sure our young people are lifted up and given every opportunity to succeed. I'm proud that today we're able to fund three great organizations that will make a lasting difference in the lives of Louisville’s youth for years to come."

The Mayor also expressed gratitude to the Louisville Metro Council for approving this plan in support of young people, with special thanks to Council Members Keisha Dorsey (D-3), Nicole George (D-21), and James Peden (D-23) for sponsoring the resolution introducing this funding opportunity. 

“An investment in our youth is an investment in our future, one that we know will pay dividends,” said Councilwoman Dorsey. “The groups that were chosen were ones that have a long history of advocacy and positive outcomes when it comes to not only affirming our youth, but also equipping our youth to not only become citizens that contribute to our success, but are responsible for then shaping our future. So, today is yet again another great step this city is taking to secure not only an equitable future by including young people in our budget and our long-term planning, but also a compassionate city by taking the time to empathize, energize and improve the talent and quality of life for every young person in this city.”

All activities within this funding opportunity should be completed by June 30, 2021. In all, 16 organizations were considered for the funding.                 

"Goodwill is excited to expand its transportation and peer support services connecting system-involved youth with the community,” said Dennis Ritchie, Director of Reentry Services, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.  “Reliable access to transportation provides young adults with education and workforce opportunities conducive to achieving equity and self-sufficiency. Further, the encouragement and assistance provided by peers facing similar barriers reinforce pathways to success and increases the likelihood that young adults will be motivated to pursue critical resources available through this consortium. Together with the Urban League and YouthBuild, we feel confident the collaboration will yield positive outcomes for all involved participants and our community.”

"Louisville’s system-involved youth have gifts and goals like every other young person in our community,” said Lynn Rippy, President/CEO, YouthBuild Louisville. “The opportunity we celebrate today to link community services together will offer collective solutions to long-term problems our most vulnerable young people face accessing needed resources. As a coalition, we are grateful to the Council, the Mayor, and the OYD Team for acknowledging in a major way a commitment to a new path for working together." 

"We look forward to partnering with the Louisville System-Involved Youth Consortium to help connect the dots for youth and young adults,” said Dr. Kish Cumi-Price, Director of Education Policy & Programming, Louisville Urban League. “It is difficult to try to put all the pieces together alone. We have systems that have failed our youth and young adults, and this investment and collective effort is a start in the right direction."

For more information, visit the city’s Office of Youth Development’s website at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/office-youth-development.

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