Funding Alert! Basic Center Program Grants

United States Department of Health and Human Services – Family and Youth Services Bureau Basic Center Program

Is your program seeking funding for meeting the needs of runaway and homeless youth? The Department of Health and Human Services Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) recently posted information about a forecasted funding opportunity with its Basic Center Program (BCP). The BCP’s purpose is to provide temporary emergency shelter and counseling to youth who have left home without their caregivers’ permission, have been forced to leave their home, or are otherwise experiencing homelessness. Let’s take a closer look at this forecasted opportunity, using information from the 2019 funding opportunity announcement.

What are BCPs?

BCPs work to either establish or strengthen community-based programs that serve youth under 19 years of age who are experiencing homelessness. These programs provide the youth with up to 21 days of emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and referrals for health care, with the goal of either reuniting the individuals with their families or locating appropriate alternative placement if needed. BCPs may also provide street-based outreach services, home-based services for families with youth at risk of leaving their homes, drug abuse education and prevention services, and – at the request of the youth – testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Proposed BCP projects must include the following components:

  1. Shelter and Counseling: BCPs provide youth with temporary shelter and counseling services in geographic areas where runaway, homeless, and street-youth under the age of 18 can easily access the services (such as rural or tribal communities).
  2. Comprehensive Youth-Centered Model: BCPs use trauma-informed and strengths-based approaches with a focus on social-emotional well-being. The model includes an outreach plan to conduct continual, intense, and individualized engagement with youth who are on the streets and/or at risk for becoming victims of sexual or labor exploitation or human trafficking. BCPs also provide gateway services, harm reduction, and case management while coordinating with other agencies to strengthen the local service continuum.
  3. Sustainability Plan: BCPs demonstrate diverse funding streams and plans to address staff retention and turnover; accountability in meeting the program outcome areas and performance standards; and collaboration through meaningful partnerships with other service agencies.

The funder expects to fund 81 grants, with awards ranging from $70,000 to $200,000. The initial grant award will be for a 12-month budget period, with the potential for a total of 36 months based on availability of funds and the grantee’s progress and performance.

This grant requires a 10% match of the total project cost. This can be provided as cash or in-kind contributions.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include public and nonprofit entities (and combinations of such entities). Private institutions of higher education must be nonprofit entities, and faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible. Applications from for-profit entities, individuals (including sole proprietorships), and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and funding under this announcement.

Eligible applicants who have demonstrated experience in providing services to runaway and homeless youth will receive priority under this announcement.

What makes a project a good fit?

The vision of the BCP is to establish or strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth under the age of 18 and their families. Through the provision of temporary shelter and services, indicators of improvement include:

  • Social and Emotional Well-being: Youth will be connected to a system of care providers to assist with physical health, substance abuse, mental health, personal safety, and sexual risk behaviors they may face.
  • Permanent Connections: Youth will experience ongoing attachments to families,

communities, schools, and other social networks.

  • Education or Employment: Youth will connect to school or vocational training programs, improve interviewing skills or job attainment skills, and obtain employment.
  • Safe and Stable Housing: Youth will transition to safe and stable housing, to include

moving in with family (when appropriate) or other permanent supportive housing.

What if I am ready to apply? The official funding opportunity announcement for 2021 grant awards is not yet available, but it is forecasted to be posted on March 22, 2021.  The full proposal is expected to be due May 21, 2021. To move your application forward, take the following action steps ASAP:

  • Look through the FYSB’s website for more information about the program, including a BCP fact sheet.
  • Read the funding opportunity announcement from the (closed) 2020 competition. While some details may change for the next cycle, this document will provide a solid framework for planning your proposal.
  • Consider the agencies that can act as collaborative partners to strengthen your program.
  • Make sure your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active and be sure you have agov profile. You can check your SAM status here:
  • Identify what you will use for your cash or in-kind budget match.

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start planning ahead for next year’s round. The Administration for Children & Families website has ample resources available, including data and research, information about all of its offices and grants, and other FYSB programs for agencies working with runaway and homeless youth.

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs