Funding Alert! Street Outreach Program Grants

United States Department of Health and Human Services – Family and Youth Services Bureau Street Outreach Program

Is your program seeking funding to provide street-based outreach and education for runaway or 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 Street Outreach Program (SOP). The SOP’s purpose is to provide prevention and intervention services for runaway or street youth or youth experiencing homelessness who either have been or are at risk for becoming victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, or trafficking. Let’s take a closer look at this forecasted opportunity, using information from the closed 2020 funding opportunity announcement from this past spring.

What are SOPs?

SOPs work to provide street-based services to runaway, homeless, and street youth who are 21 years of age and younger who are at risk for sexual abuse and/or exploitation, as well as severe forms of human trafficking. SOP outreach workers build relationships with youth, in order to move them into stable housing and prepare them for independence from trafficking and exploitative situations.

Proposed SOP projects must include the following activities:

  1. Conduct Street Outreach and Provide Access to Shelter: emergency shelter or safe and stable housing should be available to at-risk youth on a 24-hr-per-day basis, with transportation as needed and optional Drop-In Center services.
  2. Comprehensive Youth-Centered Model: SOPs 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. SOPs also provide gateway services, harm reduction, and case management while coordinating with other agencies to strengthen the local service continuum.
  3. Street-Based Services to Victims of Trafficking: increase capacity for providing services or referrals for victims of trafficking, by participating in professional training and applying human trafficking elements in client assessments.
  4. Training: At least one key SOP staff person must attend annual national and regional training as well as any other technical assistance training as needed.
  5. Sustainability Plan: SOPs 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 34 grants, with awards ranging from $90,000 to $150,000. 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 coordinated networks 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.

What makes a project a good fit?

The vision of the SOP is to prevent the sexual abuse, human trafficking, and/or exploitation of young people who are experiencing homelessness or are in unstable housing. Eligible applicants who have demonstrated experience in providing services to runaway and homeless youth will receive priority under this announcement. These applicants will be assessed on how well they have demonstrated and substantiated their experience in providing services to runaway and homeless youth.

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 October 14, 2020.  The full proposal is expected to be due December 13, 2020. 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 SOP 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