Tuesday, August 12, 2014

U.S. Soccer Foundation Invites Letters of Interest for Safe Places to Play Grants

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is once again accepting Letters of Interest for their Safe Places to Play program to provide children in urban areas with places to play soccer. The program will award grants up to $200,000 for the installation of field surfaces, lighting, and irrigation for field space and are intended to help provide children in underserved communities with spaces to play in a healthy and safe environment.

To be eligible for the grant, applicants must:
  • Apply on behalf of a program or project operating in the U.S.
  • Be a non-profit organization, school, municipality, college or university, or sovereign tribal nation.
  • Apply as, or on behalf of, a field-building project.
  • Own or have a minimum of a ten-year land lease/land use agreement on the land where the field-building project will take place.

Letters of interest must be received no later than September 24, 2014. Upon review, select applicants will be invited to submit a full application. For more information on Safe Places to Play, click here. For more information on the U.S. Soccer Foundation and their initiatives, click here.

You're Invited! Webinar on Trauma Informed Community Building in San Francisco's South Potrero Choice Neighborhood

Join us for a webinar on September 3rd from 1:30 – 3:00 PM!

Through a partnership with the residents of one of San Francisco’s largest and most distressed public housing sites and the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University, BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a Choice Neighborhoods planning grantee, has developed a Trauma Informed Community Building (TICB) model for community building that acknowledges the ongoing stress and trauma that are pervasive in communities facing poverty, ongoing violence, isolation, and limited resources. 
This webinar will provide professionals working on neighborhood revitalization initiatives valuable information about how to bring a trauma informed lens to community building activities in distressed neighborhoods. Emily Weinstein, Director of Potrero Community and Housing Development with BRIDGE Housing Corporation, and Uzuri Pease-Greene, Community Builder at BRIDGE Housing Corporation, will share the TICB model and explain how it address the challenges that trauma presents to traditional community building. They will also provide on-the-ground examples of how their model has been put to use in Potrero Hill to de-escalate chaos and stress, build social networks, and foster the community’s ability to be resilient. 

Click here to register for the webinar!
You can also learn more about their TICB model in a white paper, published by BRIDGE Housing and San Francisco State University in May.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grant Opportunity for Indigenous-Led, Community-Based Projects and Organizations

The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering grants from $600 to $5,000 for Indigenous-initiated and -led community-based organizations and projects. Proposals must come from a Native American or Indigenous peoples' organization or initiative that accomplishes its work within the community it serves.

Sponsored work should be designed so that leadership and decision-making are vested directly in the people in whose community the project is centered and who are affected by the initiative. Efforts should incorporate a focus on building the capacity of Native American and indigenous peoples’ organizations, as well as community members themselves.

Applications are being solicited in the following areas:

  • Sustainable Communities: Supports Native grassroots community-based projects striving for holistic community health and renewal.
  • Arts and Cultural Expression: Provides support to grassroots Native communities and cultural arts organizations. Priority is given to holistic community health and cultural renewal efforts using traditional and contemporary art forms to express cultural diversity.
  • Environmental Health & Justice: Supports Native peoples involved in frontline grassroots action, advocacy for environmental and social justice, and community organizing.
  • Intergenerational Leadership Initiative: Supports Native youth, elders, and cultural leaders engaged in community organizing work related to cultural health, environmental justice, and social equity.
  • Women’s Leadership: Supports efforts to advocate for and protect the role of women as leaders in Native communities.
  • Human Rights: Supports the creation and continuation of strategic alliances between Indigenous Peoples to empower them to participate in all forms and levels of human rights advocacy.

Proposals are due on September 15, 2014. For complete program guidelines, eligibility and application instructions, click here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Webinar: Improving the Learning Environment through Increased Access to School Breakfast

Later this month, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will be hosting a webinar exploring efforts to increase participation in school breakfast programs. Titled "Breakfast for Learning: How Education Groups are Joining Efforts to Improve the Learning Environment through Increased Access to School Breakfast," the presentation will look at ways in which stakeholders across the country are trying to maximize the health and academic benefits of the School Breakfast Program.

Research has shown a connection between participation in school breakfast and positive outcomes such as decreased tardiness and absenteeism and improved focus in the classroom. At the same time, students face barriers to participation in the program, including stigma arising from the belief that school breakfast is for low-income students and difficulties in getting to school early enough to participate in traditional programs. This webinar will explore these and other challenges and ways in which groups across the nation are tackling them in order to help students be healthy and academically successful.

Scheduled speakers include:
  • Kelly Beckwith, AASA (The School Superintendents Association)
  • Kara Boyer, National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation
  • Annelise Cohon, Senior Project Coordinator, National Education Association Health Information Network
  • Eyang Garrison, Child Nutrition Policy Analyst, FRAC
  • Whitney Meagher, National Association of State Boards of Education
  • Heather Parker, National PTA
The webinar will take place on Tuesday, August, 19 from 3:00 - 4:00pm ET.

To learn more about and register for this webinar, please visit FRAC's website here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Archived Webinar: Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) hosted a webinar titled "Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing." The presentation provided participants - including service providers, policymakers, and other community stakeholders - the opportunity to learn about the Housing First approach and the Rapid Re-Housing Model and how they can be used together to reduce homelessness.

As the name implies, the Housing First approach focuses on helping individuals and families find affordable, permanent housing before connecting them with the social services and community supports they need to avoid becoming homeless again. Receipt of support services is voluntary and not a condition for getting or keeping housing. Housing First is not a specific program, but rather a "whole-system orientation."

Rapid Re-Housing refers to the practice of focusing resources on helping families to secure permanent, usually private market, housing. The types of services used to achieve this goal include short-term financial and rental assistance and housing search and landlord negotiation. This practice has proved particularly effective in reducing family homelessness.

The presenters on the webinar included:
  • Ann Olivia, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning and Development Office of Special Needs Assistance Program;
  • Richard Cho, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness;
  • Lindsay Knotts, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
To check out the archived webinar, download the presentation slides, and learn more about the work of USICH, please go here.

TD Charitable Foundation 2014 Housing for Everyone Grant Competition Overview

The TD Charitable Foundation is hosting its ninth annual Housing for Everyone grant competition to create or preserve rental housing units for families with children. Many low- to moderate- income families are still dealing with the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the foreclosure crisis, and limited employment opportunities, which makes access to safe and affordable housing now more challenging than ever.

TD Bank will award $100,000 grants to the best 25 organizations located in a T.D. Bank, N.A. metro market area that can demonstrate the impact they have made to affordable housing efforts in their community and that meet other eligibility criteria.

Applications are due 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, August 29, 2014. Notification of awards will be made by mid November 2014.

For the complete grant announcement, click here

Monday, July 28, 2014

New KIDS COUNT Data Highlights the Importance of Equity-Focused Work

The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, marks the 25th edition of the report that details how children are faring, both at the state and national level. Born as a CSSP project in 1990, the national KIDS COUNT initiative was conceptualized as a way to help local communities, states and national leaders make better informed policy and practice decisions in order to improve the economic, health, educational, family and community well-being of America’s children. The data book continues to use an index of key indicators, allowing for the tracking of trends over time.

National data from before and after the recession indicate that while children experienced across-the-board gains in the areas of education and health, they did experience some setbacks in the domains of economic well-being and family/community factors. Broadly speaking, more children today are living in poor, single-parent families in areas of concentrated poverty, where parents lack secure employment while experiencing higher housing costs than in past years.

In addition to national data, the new KIDS COUNT report provides state profiles which detail how a state has done on each of the 16 indicators and provides domain-specific ranks in addition to how the state ranks in overall child well-being. There is, of course, variety both between states and even within the different domains for a single state as resources, policies and funding priorities vary considerably across the country. Massachusetts, for example, who ranks first in terms of overall well-being, is ranked first in education indicators, second on health indicators, eighth in the family and community domain and drops to thirteenth in terms of economic well-being.

Unfortunately, even within the areas of improvement, a concerning amount of racial inequity remains. On more than half of the indicators examined, African American, American Indian and Latino children continue to experience negative outcomes at rates that are higher than the national average. In addition, these children fare worse than their white peers on 75 percent of indicators. The area in which they are keeping pace are the indicators surrounding health, indicating that recent policy efforts to increase access to health insurance, prenatal care and combat substance use have been effective.

Given the dramatic shift in the ethnic composition of children in the U.S., these trends are disturbing. The percentage of white children dropped from 69 percent in 1990 to 53 percent in 2012 while the percentage of Latino children doubled, from 12 to 24 percent during the same period. In fact, it is estimated that by 2018, children of color will be the majority. If racial inequities continue to exist at current levels, a distressing picture of our long-term economic and social future begins to emerge. In order to change the trajectory, we have to address the reality that too many children of color begin life with multiple disadvantages.

Data sources like the annual KIDS COUNT report provide an invaluable resource that can help galvanize and inform effective solutions at the community level. Comparing local data to state and national indicators enables communities to understand the nature and extent of both assets and challenges. Disaggregating data based on variables such as race, ethnicity, gender and age provides an even more nuanced picture of how different populations are faring, offering critical information to community change actors working to address disparities and target strategies to create better results for all children and families.

For more information on CSSP’s organizational commitment to equity, see our 2013 Annual Report: Equity and Social Change. For tools on how to use data in your community change efforts, see the Building Neighborhood Capacity Resource Center.