RFP for Connected Youth Initiative grants of up to $150,000 released

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to communities wishing to apply for a Connected Youth Initiative sub-grant of up to $150,000.

“The purpose of these subgrants is to give communities the financial and technical resources they need to build a system to launch their unconnected youth into successful adulthoods,” said Jennifer Skala, Nebraska Children’s VP of Community Impact. “Each grantee community will work in partnership with Nebraska Children to conduct community planning and build a sustainable system that serves this high-need population.”

Nebraska Children will award between 7 and 10 community grants based on the RFP submissions. Each grant award will be between $100,000 and $150,000, and will require a dollar-for-dollar community match.

“For communities who are ready to make a difference for their unconnected youth, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Skala. “Not only will they get a powerful financial infusion, but we’ll be bringing a proven model that can be customized to the strengths of every community.”

Nebraska Children defines unconnected youth as age 14-24 who have had experience in the foster care or juvenile justice system, or who are homeless or nearly homeless.

“The unconnected young people served by older youth systems are faced with notoriously poor life outcomes,” said Skala. “Many of them will experience homelessness, develop chronic health problems, struggle with addiction, become parents too early or even become incarcerated as adults. These outcomes are not only negative for the young people experiencing them, but are extremely expensive for Nebraska taxpayers.”

Where is this money coming from?

Last week, Nebraska Children announced that it was recipient of a grant called the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) from the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the first SIF grant awarded to Nebraska. Nebraska Children will use the funds to customize a successful model for addressing the needs of unconnected youth to rural communities who want to better serve this population. This model focuses on young people who have aged out of foster care, are experiencing homelessness, or have been in the juvenile justice system, and prepares them to become independent, contributing adults.

“Nebraska Children is one of three grantees the SIF is backing this year to address inequities in rural services,” said Damian Thorman, director of the Social Innovation Fund. “The SIF award will help drive resources needed to build effective systems of care in remote areas often overlooked by traditional philanthropy. We are proud to support rural Nebraska’s efforts to create supportive communities dedicated to helping struggling teens successfully transition to adulthood.”

Communities wishing to know more can access the RFP and instructions at www.NebraskaChildren.org/connectedyouth.html

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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