Mayor announces ‘Safe Summer Bash’ funding for community programs to keep city’s youths active and engaged

June 21, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined representatives of the city’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN) and its Youth Engagement Services (YES!) team, as well as Louisville Parks & Recreation to announce the 50 recipients of city-funded grants for the “Mayor’s Safe Summer Bash” initiative, aimed at keeping Louisville’s youth active, engaged and safe this summer.

YES! – formerly known as the Office for Youth Development and now a division of OSHN focused on engaging youths in violence prevention and learning healthy lifestyles – is funding the grant program, one of many violence prevention and intervention efforts embedded in Mayor Fischer’s “whole of government, whole of city approach” to public safety.

“We know that keeping our kids safe and on a productive path this summer starts with providing them safe, productive ways to spend their free time,” the Mayor said. “And our city is blessed with so many community partners that are doing just that. We are pleased to be able to support those partners with this ‘Safe Summer Bash’ funding.”

Examples of recipient organizations include AMPED, the Americana Community Center, Whitney Strong, Change Today, Change Tomorrow, the LouCity and Racing Foundation, along with newer groups like Kentuckiana Backyard Farms and Kaylyn's House of Joy. (See the full list here.)

The programs began June 7 and will run to July 29, serving youths in neighborhoods around the city’s Beechmont, California, Newburg, Parkhill, Portland, Shawnee, South Louisville, Southwick and Sun Valley community centers. OSHN estimates approximately 2,000 youth will participate.

Recipients were selected after a competitive request process, with extra points given to programs that will operate in the city’s community centers, and those in the neighborhoods with a high rate of gun violence. Grants range from to $2,700 to $20,000 and will support programs ranging from voice lessons to soccer clinics to educational tutoring to help stem summer learning losses.

OSHN Assistant Director Carla Kirby said, “For children living in neighborhoods with high crime rates, summer often can increase stress and isolation. Those children aren’t taking a family car vacation or summer camp. Gun violence in Louisville is a public health epidemic impacting them directly, and as a community, we must offer them opportunities to have fun, be active and learn – in safe spaces, for free.”

Anyone interested in participating in any of the Safe Summer Bash programs should first reach out to the community center nearest you to see which are offered there – two thirds of the programs are located in the centers. For information on other programs, call the YES! Office at 502.574.5696.

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