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Manhattan District Attorney's Office Announces CJII Grantees for Youth Opportunity Hubs and Family & Youth Development Programs

Posted February 28, 2017

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has announced the grantees selected to create and construct five Youth Opportunity Hubs, a first-of-its-kind effort to knit together community-based providers and build new physical spaces for young people in target Manhattan neighborhoods. The Office has also announced the grantees selected to expand their capacity and develop innovative new services in family and youth development programs.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is providing these grants through its Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (“CJII”), which District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., created using criminal forfeiture funds obtained through the Office’s settlements with international banks for violating U.S. sanctions. These announced awards focus on four Manhattan neighborhoods identified as areas in need of investment in CJII’s strategic plan: East Harlem, Central and West Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side.

Youth Opportunity Hubs 

Youth Opportunity Hubs will provide attractive social spaces and link neighborhood service providers to provide one-stop, comprehensive support for at-risk children, teens, and young adults in order to prevent them from becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

Recognizing that young people utilize supportive services at higher rates when such services are easily accessible, this “neighborhood hub” approach coordinates family, community, school, and city resources in attractive and convenient locations within underserved neighborhoods. Services and programming to be offered at the Hubs will include educational assistance, mentorship, employment training, trauma and substance abuse services, mental health counseling, housing and legal assistance, and recreational and arts programming, among many other services.

District Attorney Vance has awarded multi-year grants totaling $45.9 million to the following five organizations to create Youth Opportunity Hubs, which are expected to serve more than 2,800 young New Yorkers each year:

Family and Youth Development Programs

District Attorney Vance has also awarded $12 million in grants to existing community-based service providers and organizations specializing in family and youth development to expand their capacity and develop innovative programming. Specifically, the Office is funding “two-generation” programming models that provide holistic support to at-risk young people and their families. Numerous studies have concluded that family dynamics, education, and mental health, among other areas, influence justice system involvement. Early attempts to support healthy family development can prevent subsequent child and family risk factors—including academic problems, school dropout, antisocial behavior, and justice system contact—and reduce recidivism.

District Attorney Vance has awarded multi-year grants to the following organizations, which expect to serve more than 4,700 families each year:

These awards follow an open-solicitation, request for proposals and review process led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and facilitated by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), CJII’s technical assistance provider. Representatives from New York City agencies—including the Department of Education, Department of Youth and Community Development, Administration for Children’s Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development—as well as other organizations, including Hunter College, participated in the review committee and provided expert feedback.
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