In response to an increase in violent crime involving youth, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings convened a 37-member citizen-led Citizens’ Safety Task Force to assess the impetus of the increase and provide recommendations designed to combat the problem. To meet the goal, the task force reviewed data, listened to presenters and subject matter experts, engaged the community, and developed strategies and solutions around four pillars - prevention, intervention, enforcement, and prosecution.
Of the Task Force recommendations, the Orange County Government was charged with investing in the types of programs that connect youth to prosocial caring adults on an ongoing basis, engaging youth in life skills and leadership training; arts, technology, educational enrichment activities; community service projects; youth events; employment; and academic success. Known as “Positive Youth Development”, these programs offer youth mentorship, conflict resolution skill-building, life skills training, jobs and job skills training, and support for academic success.
To further fulfill the primary task force recommendations and embrace the aforementioned strategies, Orange County Citizens’ Commission for Children (CCC) is soliciting 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to provide health and human service activities/programs designed to reduce youth violence in Orange County.
For the purpose of this process, youth violence is defined as the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others by young people ages 10-24. It can include fighting, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. A young person can be involved with youth violence as a victim, offender, or witness. By funding local nonprofits, Orange County Government aims to reduce incidents of victimization or perpetration through direct efforts to remove or reduce underlying causes of violence.
The Orange County CCC seeks to fund projects, events, or activities to prevent the likelihood of violent crime. All applicants must be culturally responsive and well-positioned to work with children, youth, and young adults with increased vulnerability to behaviors that lead to violent crime or have existing involvement in delinquent behaviors. Successful grant proposals will demonstrate a direct link between the activity/program for which funding is requested by utilizing one or more of the following seven strategies that keep youth safe and healthy:
- Promote family environments that support healthy development.
- Promote quality education.
- Strengthen youth coping skills.
- Connect youth to caring adults and activities.
- Create protective community environments.
- Implement an intervention designed to lessen harm and prevent future risks.
- Reduce recidivism.
Eligible proposals are restricted to nonprofit organizations not currently receiving Orange County funding that have also been in operation for at least one year. Funding awards range between $5,000 and $10,000. Projects should begin upon execution of an Orange County contract and be complete by December 31, 2023.
Applicants are required to submit a Notice of Intent to apply by May 15, 2023.