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YouthBuild:  Reclaiming Kids and Their Communities

"We'd rebuild the abandoned houses. We'd take them away from the drug dealers and give them to the homeless people." When staff members from the original Youth Action Program asked young people in 1978 what they would do to save their communities if they had the chance, that was the answer they received. Good intentions were turned into tangible deeds as the total number of affordable homes built by YouthBuild students has reached over 33,000 to date. Inspired by its Youth Action predecessor , YouthBuild helps some of the 2.3 million 16-24 year olds who are neither in school or employed attain marketable job skills while simultaneously helping their communities increase the availability of affordable housing. It is currently offering grants to organizations who will provide occupational skills training to at-risk youth as they build and renovate homes to be used by low-income families.

Helping Homeless Vets - The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are almost 48,000 Veterans experiencing homelessness on any given night, about 11% of the total U.S. homeless population. In addition, 1.4 million more are at risk of becoming homeless. A complex problem, it involves much more than the lack of affordable housing. Many homeless Vets suffer from mental illness, alcoholism and other substance abuse, as well as post-traumatic stress disorders. They often lack access to social support networks. Because it is such a multifaceted issue, The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher program combines housing vouchers with case management provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to give them access to the broad type of support they need to maintain successful transition back into mainstream society.

The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant

The purpose of the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant is to revitalize struggling neighborhoods with distressed public housing or HUD assisted housing. As an initial requirement, each project must concentrate on the rehabilitation of at least one housing structure. Yet there are much broader objectives to this program. Part of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), the grant is not only about the physical renovation of buildings, but also the transformation of communities into vital places to live and work. Unlike past efforts, which often focused on problems like economic insecurity in a vacuum, HUD is taking a "holistic" approach to help selected areas redefine themselves.

Grant Opportunities and News for July 16, 2015

Every so often, we write about grant-related opportunities and local government news packaged into one post. Today's post focuses primarily on housing issues: revitalizing America's Main Streets and providing for affordable housing in these areas, improving housing self-sufficiency, capacity building for the entities that are helping to create affordable housing, and small grants for projects that focus on the intersection between education and digital culture.

HUD Turns 50: Milestones in Housing and Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) turns the big 5-0 this year, and that deserves a tip of the hat by way of a timeline. To commemorate the department's history of creating communities of opportunity, HUD has set up a new site (#HUDat50) with an interactive timeline and sidebars tracing back to when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act establishing the department in 1965. What are some of the major highlights and grant programs in HUD history? The sample below is a great reminder of the importance of these programs to communities across the United States:

Second Round of Promise Zones Announced

North Hartford Promise Zone (Google Maps).

Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced the next round of urban, rural, and tribal communities that have received a Promise Zone designation. For this second round of competition, 123 applications were received from 38 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Eight communities—six urban and two rural/tribal—were selected for Promise Zone designation:

Grant Solicitations, Early April 2015

Here are a handful of grant solicitations that were recently released. For more information on how eCivis can help you with your grant research, check out our Grants Network videos page as well as our Grant Resource Library for articles.

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