Almost $2 million is now up for grabs in Wake County, earmarked for local programs that help at-risk youth. 

The state funding, $1.8 million from the NC Department of Public Safety, will be awarded to non-profits or government agencies with the best program proposals. Programs are required to either 1) serve youth ages 6-20 who are already involved with the court system or 2) serve children ages 6-17 who are at-risk of becoming involved in crime.

Because the funding is meant to help deter children from crime, Wake County is asking that programs address certain risk factors—such as drug abuse, mental health problems, gang involvement, or unfair treatment at school. 

That means a wide variety of programs are eligible for funding. The county won’t just give money to programs like teen court or community service, but also to substance abuse counseling, temporary shelters, tutoring programs, and parent skill-building programs. 

According to the news release, special consideration will go to programs that are not currently funded: home-based family counseling, independent living, and mentoring services.

“By helping fund these local efforts and organizations, we’re investing in future generations and creating positive, safe spaces for youth,” Wake County Commissioner James West said in the news release. “Many local programs struggle to secure outside funding for their initiatives. They should not have to worry about the money, they should be able to focus on the kids.”

Recipients of the funding will be chosen by the Wake County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, a group of educators, law enforcement officers, judges, substance abuse counselors, mental health experts, and community members. 

In order to receive funding, applicants must be able to provide cash or in-kind donations that match 30 percent of the total money awarded. The deadline to apply for funds is January 31, 2023. Proposal guidelines can be accessed here.

The county will also hold a virtual workshop to answer questions and talk about the kinds of programs that are eligible for funding. The workshop is 10 a.m. on January 12 and is “strongly encouraged for those applying.” To register or for more information, email David Carter, area consultant for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. 

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