Funding Alert! Grants for Runaway and Homeless Youth

Department of Health and Human Services –

Administration for Children & Families (ACYF)

Attention organizations and communities working to end youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and domestic violence! The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)’s Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program is accepting applications for the basic center (BCP) and street outreach (SO) programs, which will provide temporary shelter and counseling services to youth who have left home without the permission of parents or guardians, have been forced to leave home, or homeless youth who might otherwise end up in law enforcement custody, the child welfare, or juvenile justice systems. These programs were created in response to a growing concern for youth in need of long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not equipped to provide, and to provide prevention and intervention services to runaway, homeless, and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and severe forms of trafficking in persons.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include public (state, local, and tribal) entities, private non-profit entities including faith-based organizations, community organizations, non-profit private institutions of higher education, and coordinated networks. Organizations that are part of a state or local juvenile justice system are not eligible.

What is the program goal?

The primary goal of the BCP is to provide temporary emergency shelter and counseling services to eligible youth who are experiencing homelessness under the age of 18. The vision of the program is to establish and strengthen community-based projects that meet the immediate needs of youth who have runaway or are living on the street with temporary shelter and services that encourage family reunification. For SO programs, the primary goal is to provide street-based services to runaway, homeless, and street youth who are 21 years of age and younger and who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, prostitution, sexual exploitation, and severe forms of trafficking; and to build relationships between street outreach workers and runaway, homeless, and street youth to move youth into safe and stable housing and prepare them for independence.

In 2023, ACYF expects to award 90 BCP projects for up to 36 months with a total award amount of $200,000. The total available funding pool is $22,414,392. The SO program anticipates 31 awarded projects from a total pool of $4,582,625. These projects have a $150,000 ceiling. While the BCP programs are significantly increased from FY22 (68 awards from $13,000,000), the SO program has decreased (47 awards from $6,970,697). Both programs require a 10% cost-share or matching funds of the total approved cost of the project. Initial grant awards will be for a 12-month budget period, with continuation awards beyond the initial period based on the availability of funds, satisfactory progress, and a determination that funding would be in the government’s best interest. Both BCP and SO programs require a comprehensive youth-centered services model; outreach implementation strategy including education, awareness, youth engagement, and collaboration; provision of basic needs such as food, transportation, personal safety information, clothing, and hygiene products; screening and assessment for eligibility and needs;

In addition, BCP projects must include the following components:

  • Safe, stable, and appropriate shelter and counseling for up to 21 days;
  • Social and emotional well-being and strength-based approach;
  • Case management including individualized service or treatment of the client, service coordination, and education service plans; and
  • Transition planning that consists of at least three months of aftercare.

SO projects must include:

  • 24/7 street outreach efforts with access to shelter;
  • Harm reduction education on safety planning and reducing risk of violence, sexual exploitation, and trafficking;
  • Crisis stabilization and case management through a strengths-based approach;
  • Increased capacity for projects to identify and provide RHY services;

All proposed projects must plan to provide a safe and inclusive space for all youth, including youth of color, youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, and other affirmative ways in which people choose to identify (LGBTQIA2S+), and other underserved populations, and must be inclusive of the language access needs of youth and families of youth served.

See the full BCP funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and the SO FOA for details of the required components. Proposal deadlines are: BCP – Friday, June 9, 2023, and SO – Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

What makes a project a good fit?

Both FOAs will give priority to public and non-profit organizations that have experience in providing services to street youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness or have runaway.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) 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. Julie Assel, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! HHS has a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit. The office’s website has ample resources, webinars, and descriptions of available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Agency Series in 2022! The series is designed to take you beyond typical solicitation overviews of agencies and provide insight into agency values, changes, and details to prepare successful applications. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

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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