City of Flint awards ReCAST grants to 19 community partners

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FLINT, Michigan—The City of Flint has awarded a total of $210,000 to 19 community organizations providing critical services to support Flint ReCAST, a program funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

“We are happy to work with so many amazing community partners who create opportunities for our youth, families, and neighborhoods to grow, learn, and develop skills for success,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “These programs help build communities, and working together, we will continue to move Flint forward.”

Each of the mini-grants was for a maximum of $15,000 and helps 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.

“We’re excited to receive this grant and the opportunity to continue serving youth through our urban gardening program, GreenDREAMS,” said Royce Stephens, executive director of the nonprofit organization DREAMS (Developing Respectful Educated Aspiring Minds with Sports). “Not only will our students benefit from learning how to garden and cook healthy family meals, they’ll learn resiliency and how to cope with stress, all of which are very important skills.”

For more information on Flint ReCAST, go to https://www.facebook.com/FlintReCAST/

The grantees are:

Bangtown Productions: Bangtown Studio On The Go connects youth to their community through music, film, and technology. 

Boys and Girls Club: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint provides virtual learning for students, which is supplemented with high-yield learning activities that focus on academic success, good character, and healthy lifestyles. 

DREAMS: Developing Respectful Educated Aspiring Minds with Sports (DREAMS) looks to continue to help youth recover from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Through its gardening program, GreenDREAMS, they provide youth with coping mechanisms to help mitigate the effects of their trauma.

Flint Freedom School: The Flint Freedom Schools Collaborative (FFSC) project fosters academic and creative growth, community engagement, collaboration, positive culture cultivation, parent and family involvement, and intergenerational, servant leadership development through hybrid digital/in-person K-12 youth tutoring and creative learning sessions, as well as high-school intern development. 

Genesee Area Focus Fund: The YouthQuest Summer on the Road program will help students problem-solve issues that directly affect them by participating in interactive learning sessions that teach them about public health careers, community health, and health equity. Students will continue to build resiliency through a summer youth retreat that would focus on self-care and self-expression through the arts and social-emotional learning.

Heart of Worship Dance Studio: The Heart of Worship Dances Studio (HOWDS) project uses dance to mitigate the effects of prolonged confinement and loss of daily activities for the Greater Flint area youth. HOWDS will engage youth in virtual, in-person, and pre-recorded video interaction; and to encourage and promote continued learning.

InvolvedDad: InvolvedDad offers Trauma-Informed Mentor/Coaching for fathers in Greater Flint. Children’s success is the community’s success as a whole and begins with stable families and involved fathers.

R.L. Jones Community Center: The Youth Job Readiness Training Program provides opportunities for youth in North Flint in fields where immediate job placement is possible. The program helps participants work through the challenges faced by past trauma and sets them on a path for future success.

Latinx Technology & Community Center: The Latinx Flint ReCAST Cultural Art project helps to educate Latin youth about their collective struggle to create a more just community. Latinx Flint aspires to support youth in skill building for advancement in healing and resilience.

Legal Services of Eastern Michigan: Trained professionals will provide no-cost mindfulness training to Flint area social services professionals. Staff will get tools to equip themselves and others with the increasing stresses of life.

MADE Institute: The M.A.D.E. Institute Life Skills Program helps participants address the trauma they have faced which lead to their incarceration and will help them learn life skills while gaining job training as they reenter into society. 

North Flint Action Council: The No Weapon project is a collaborative effort to work with youth between 12-17 and families from the 48505 and 48504 areas to find options other than crime, gun violence, and another life lost to the criminal justice system.

Peckham: The Mentor: Flint program offers services to help youth minimize involvement with the juvenile justice system and break the school-to-prison pipeline. The program includes evidence-based practices that promote a culture of safety, self-resilience, empowerment, and healing.

STEMletics: The Electronic Arts & Sports Training Facility (EAST) is built on the power of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts. The EAST Facility fuses open-ended exploration, play, and engineering to completely transform learning.

Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village: The School of Champions program offers students of North Flint arts, music, education, and recreational programming that promotes wellness and healing from trauma. 

Tapology: Tapology focuses on engaging youth in Flint Housing Commission neighborhoods and the foster care system, providing an outlet for youth who need it most, during a time when resilience and connection to culture are absolutely critical.

Total Life Prosperity: The six-month Total Wellness workshop and celebration at River Park Apartments helps families understand the importance of self-care, family time, and the world of art/culture.

Voices for Children: The Strong Community Voices: A Resiliency Initiative project will provide training and opportunities for peer support and leadership growth for families in the Flint community.

Youth Arts Unlocked: Youth Arts: Unlocked (YAU) builds resilience in Flint’s most disadvantaged and marginalized youth by providing weekly virtual, performing arts, and yoga workshops to incarcerated and justice-involved youth. All workshops are trauma-informed and taught by teams of professional teaching artists who have experience working with at-risk youth. 

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.

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