NH DHHS Announces Funding Opportunity for Summer Youth Programs
Department will allocate $3.5 million to programs serving at risk youth
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce that funding is available to organizations offering summer and school-year programs geared toward middle and high school youth. As part of New Hampshire’s Invest in the Future Fund, the State will utilize $3.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the Empowering Youth Program, which will provide programming for at-risk middle and high school students and focus on socio-emotional health and learning impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, the state has dedicated funds to help our at-risk youth through after-school and summer programming,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Over the last two years, this tremendous program has helped thousands of Granite State children, and we are excited to provide these great opportunities for another summer!”
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on children and youth across the state,” said DHHS Commissioner Shibinette. “After two years of disruptions in home and school life, our youth are experiencing an increase in social, emotional and academic pressure. This funding will allow us to meet kids where they are and provide them with opportunities for stability and growth during the summer months, so they can start strong as they return to school in the fall.”
The Empowering Youth Program first launched in 2020, made possible by funding through the CARES Act. Since its inception, 69 programs across all New Hampshire counties received grant funding, serving more than 9,200 children statewide. Programs receiving funding include organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, City Year New Hampshire, New Hampshire YMCA locations, MY TURN, and various youth recreation programs. Programming has included youth mentor programs, music and theater activities, outdoor exploration, athletics, and other educational and social supports.
"Offering a myriad of support services for youth throughout the pandemic, and especially now as children move forward from an unusual two years, is essential to help them cope with altered experiences and ensure that they are stronger, engaged and ready for the year ahead. I am pleased that this new round of funding is available to offer special activities and connections for New Hampshire's youth,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education.
Funding is available to New Hampshire non-profit and for-profit programs, particularly those with an emphasis on serving youth involved with the Division for Children, Youth and Families who may be at risk for abuse or neglect. The Empowering Youth Program’s incentives target providers that will either expand current programs to middle and high-school students or initiate new program opportunities for these age groups. Programs offering outreach, engagement, and activities around youth empowerment; safe havens; and gang violence, dropout, substance use prevention are encouraged to apply. Summer programs may be transformed into afterschool or weekend programs when the school year resumes.
The application period is open from Monday, May 2 at 12 noon and ends on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Funding is intended to be used for program costs or related expenses through December 31, 2023. One-hour information sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m., and Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.nh-connections.org/covid-19/financial-resources/.