FLINT, Michigan—The City of Flint has awarded a total of $100,000 to 11 community organizations providing critical services to support Flint ReCAST, a program funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“We are proud to join with these community partners to provide access to opportunity for our families, tools for our young people, and resources for our neighborhoods,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “These programs will help lift our families and our young people. Flint is a community of champions. Working together, we will continue to move Flint forward.”
Each of the mini-grants were for a maximum of $10,000 and help to further the mission of Flint ReCAST (Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma), which is designed to promote resilience in the Flint community by supporting families and mitigating the impact of trauma.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint was one of the grantees, and CEO Reta Stanley had this to say about the ReCAST support: “Big Brothers Big Sisters serves our community’s most vulnerable populations. The ReCAST Program strongly aligns with our trauma-informed care mentoring services and offers resources to address the even more daunting gaps in health, education and employment. The funded Youth Workforce Mentoring Initiative will create resiliency and increase capacity for youth and families in the Flint community to support skill building and career opportunities.”
Robert Ennis, CEO of the Ennis Center for Children, which was also a grantee said: “Fostering Creativity’s Flint staff and participants would like to thank ReCAST for their continued support. Thanks to the mini-grant we received from your organization, we are able to continue to provide programming and services that benefit both our participants and their communities in healthy and positive ways. We are genuinely grateful for all that ReCAST has done for our program.”
For more information on Flint ReCAST, go to https://www.facebook.com/FlintReCAST/
The grantees are
• Voices For Children: The Flint Families Developing Resilient Communities project will help Flint parents in high-risk families with children impacted by the Flint Water Emergency develop leadership and mentoring skills at home.
• Peckham: The Mentor: Flint program helps at-risk youth with disabilities transition to adulthood by preparing them for in-demand job opportunities. It also offers workplace support and trusted mentors to help clients succeed.
• R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center: The Help Center and Access & Function Needs Program is designed to assist individuals impacted by the water emergency are able to mitigate behavioral health issues by making sure their basic needs are met.
• St. Luke’s NEW Life Center: The 16-week Employment Preparation Program helps prepare adults for job opportunities and it offers graduates paid employment for 90 days.
• Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village: The School of Champions program fills a significant gap in extracurricular and after-school programming for Flint students. The fully integrated program operates four days a week in separate six-weeks sessions throughout the year, including a summer-camp program.
• MADE Institute: MADE’s Life Skills program recognizes that many citizens returning to society after incarceration may have been impacted by childhood trauma and works with them to identify that trauma, address it and thereby reduce recidivism.
• Crim Fitness Foundation: The Crim Fitness Foundation plans to provide first responders, police, and correction officers with trauma-informed leadership training with a focus on the effects of trauma and stress reduction techniques.
• YMCA of Greater Flint: The 6-week Y Power Scholars summer program offers mentoring, homework help, physical activity and nutrition education for youth with mild behavioral challenges and learning disabilities.
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint: The 16-week Youth Workforce Mentoring Initiative is designed to create resiliency and provide support for Flint families by building skills and career opportunities.
• Ennis Center for Children: Fostering Creativity is a free therapeutic arts program for Genesee County youth ages 5-21 who have been in foster care or placed out of their homes. It is facilitated by credentialed art and music therapists and/or skilled artists.
• WOW Outreach: Youth Ambassadors meet twice monthly for “Real Talk” sessions that give participating youth an opportunity to talk about how they are feeling and coping with day to day life. It uses Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration principles to support a framework for understanding trauma and resiliency.
ReCAST is headed by a 20-member community advisory board convened by the Greater Flint Health Coalition in partnership with the City of Flint. It consists of resident advisors from various sectors of the Flint community. The board chair is Lottie Ferguson, chief resilience officer for the City of Flint, and Afton Shavers from the Greater Flint Health Coalition services as program manager.
Other members of the community advisory board include Debra Furr-Holden, director Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center; Danis Russell, CEO Genesee Health System; Shardae Davis, director of the Neighborhood Services Center for GCCARD; Asa Zuccaro, executive director Latinx Technology & Community Center; Keiona Murphy, director state, federal and local programs for Flint Community Schools; Sandra Jones, director of outreach for Greater Holy Temple; Kirk Smith, president & CEO of Greater Flint Health Coalition; Steven Kramer, community service trooper for Flint Michigan State Police; Jamie-Lee Venable vice president of operations at United Way of Genesee County; Lauren Holaly-Zembo, vice president for community impact at Crim Fitness Foundation; Kenyetta Dotson, director of community based implementation at Michigan State University; Rafael Turner, program officer for Ruth Mott Foundation; Promice Mosley, project assistant at Neighborhood Engagement Hub; Sandra Johnson, project manager of North Flint Revitalization Initiative for Hamilton Community Health Network; James Avery, director of education and training at Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce; Verona Terry, business community liaison at Flint Genesee Job Corps Center; Jalen Nunn, membership and outreach director at YMCA of Greater Flint; and Tauzarri Robinson, CEO of Boys and Girls Club.