Summer Opportunity Youth Programming Grants

Community Safety Director

LaKenya Middlebrook
[email protected]
(865) 215-3155

400 Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902

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  Summer Opportunity Youth Programming Grants Application [PDF]

Program Guidelines [PDF]

Budget Sheet [EXCEL]
  Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022.
  In June 2016, City Council approved $199,979.47 in grant funding to provide summer programs and job opportunities to young people who are at risk for gun violence.

Thirteen local agencies received funds to engage young people ages 12-20 between June and September. This pilot program launched in response to immediate needs for creating safe, healthy, hopeful communities. The funds are a portion of the $1 million in emergency violence-interruption funding commitment made by Mayor Kincannon and City Council in February 2021.

Read about the pilot program in the SYOG Impact Report.pdf
“Violence flourishes in communities where many people have been stripped of the social supports and opportunities that they need to thrive and where expectations of personal security and a meaningful future have been systematically thwarted or still-born.” (Currier, Elliot. A Peculiar Indifference: The Neglected Toll of Violence on Black America. Metropolitan Books, 2020; 176-77.)  Connecting young people to positive networks and engaging them in opportunities associated with personal, community and social development can begin the process of dismantling barriers to success, expanding perceptions of what is possible, and focusing on community strengths and assets. (Currier, 219-222)

The City of Knoxville is seeking to partner with Knoxville area non-profit and community-based organizations, including smaller organizations, capable of providing high-quality summer youth programming and/or summer youth employment in or around Knoxville and are willing to provide placements for local young people who are specifically identified as being at high-risk of violent crime (referred to as “Opportunity Youth”). 

The City of Knoxville has funding available in this round of grants to be awarded beginning in May 2022 for programming and support carried out between June 6, 2022 – September 2, 2022.  Awards may range between $3,000 - $20,000 and shall specifically support programming, stipends, payment, or other services directly for the Opportunity Youth engaged in programming. 

This is a competitive process. Prior funding does not guarantee funding in this process.  Some applications may not be funded, and some may be only partially funded.

Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022. 

A post project report of the programs or activities administered, number and demographics of opportunity youth served, and impact of programming must be submitted at the end of the grant cycle. 


Please read this entire document before you start filling out your Application. If you have a question or need help understanding these Guidelines or the Application, call LaKenya Middlebrook, in the Office of Community Safety, at 865-215-3155 or Kathy Mack in the Office of Community Empowerment at 865-215-3524. 

1. Deadline for Applications

Applications must be received via mail, email, or in person no later than 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022. No applications will be accepted beyond this deadline.

Please submit all applications to LaKenya Middlebrook:
By email: [email protected]
In person or by Mail:  City County Building, Suite 654D, 400 Main Street, Knoxville, 37902 

If you wish to have someone at the City of Knoxville review your application for completeness, please have your application to the office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. 

Any applications that are not received by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2022, or that do not have all of the requested paperwork, will not be considered. No applications by fax, please.  

2. Funding Disbursement

To receive funding, an applicant must be a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status or have secured a Fiscal Sponsor. (See Fiscal Sponsor section in this document.)

An applicant cannot discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability when carrying out any aspect of the funded project.

Generally, funds will be distributed in a single payment upon execution of the grant agreement. The City reserves the right to hold a portion of final grant funding until after submission and approval of a post project report.  
    Checking Account

    To receive funding directly from the City, an applicant must have a checking account prior to receiving the first check. However, if you use a Fiscal Sponsor, you may not need a checking account depending on how your Fiscal Sponsor handles your receipts and invoices. It is not necessary to possess a checking account at the time you submit an application.

    Fiscal Sponsorship

    Grants can be made only to tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) status.

    If an applicant has a 501(c)(3) determination letter from and is in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), that applicant can receive funding directly from the City. A W-9 form will be requested in order to provide funding if the City does not already have one from your organization. Each applicant must include a copy of their IRS Designation Letter, verifying the organization’s official non-profit status, and a copy of the organization’s most recent annual report/budget.

    Organizations without such tax-exempt status may receive support by partnering with a tax-exempt organization willing to serve as the organization’s fiscal sponsor consistent with applicable law. Funds are dispersed to that sponsor, which then provides the funds to the sponsored organization. You may partner with a fiscal sponsor of your choosing. You will be responsible for setting this up on your own. 

    Please Note: By law, churches and other religious organizations may not serve as fiscal sponsors for taxpayer-funded grants.

3. How Funds Can Be Used

Funds must be used to support programming that serves young people (ages 12-21) at highest risk of becoming a victim of violent crime or perpetrating violent crime. For this program, these young people are referred to as “Opportunity Youth,” a term that is further explained here

Additional considerations to help identify Opportunity Youth could include:
    Member of or associated with an active crew / group / gang
    Juvenile or Criminal system involvement
    Disconnected from school, work or consistent participation in community-based programs / services
    Previous violent crime victim
    Close friend or family member who was shot in the last year
Programming should be designed to specifically engage Opportunity Youth and provide meaningful activities and experiences during the Summer of 2022 (June 6, 2022-September 2, 2022).  Activities may include day or evening programming.  Recruitment of participants should especially focus on Opportunity Youth not already connected to existing programming.  If an applicant consistently serves Opportunity Youth, proposed activities should provide expanded opportunities to current program participants and/or seek to engage participants not currently involved in programming.

No less than 80% of grant funds shall be used to directly support Opportunity Youth engaged in summer programming. 

Examples include:
    Stipends or hourly wages for participating Opportunity Youth
    Programming needs (examples: materials, food / non-alcoholic drinks, supplies, fees, etc.) associated with serving participating Opportunity Youth 
    Supportive services for participating Opportunity Youth that enable participation in the organization’s summer programming (examples: transportation, uniforms, specialized training, etc.)
Up to 20% of total grant funds may be used for broader organization or programmatic  administrative expenses that do not directly support participating Opportunity Youth, including staffing.
When completing the required Budget Form, applicants should estimate the actual costs of supplies, services, and other costs that are expected to be needed to support Opportunity Youth during the summer of 2022. 

4. Program Requirements / Reporting

The Office of Community Safety will require an exact accounting of how all funds are spent, including supporting receipts.  Funded organizations will consent to allowing City staff to observe funded programs and activities during the grant cycle. 

Funded organizations will file a post project report, due no later than Friday, September 30, 2022.  The post project report will include demographic information for youth served, summaries of activities or services provided, pre-test and post-test data (when administered), summaries of post-summer referrals or continued engagement plans for participants, and other data as requested.  A template for the post-project report will be provided to awardees prior to the beginning of the project cycle.

The post project report must be accompanied by receipts for all expenditures paid through this award. Failure to provide these reports and receipts in a timely manner may result in the organization’s forfeiting of any grant funds held by the City and/or the organization’s suspension from future consideration for funding.

5. Organizational Engagement

A goal of this grant program is to strengthen collaboration with and between the City of Knoxville and local organizations providing programming that advances Violence Interruption objectives. At least one representative from each funded organization will be expected to participate in the Mayor’s Community Empowerment Roundtable for 2022-23 Knox County School year and may be asked to share quantitative and qualitative outcomes from the Summer Youth Violence Prevention Grant Program with the Roundtable.  Funded organizations may also be eligible to participate in additional networking and capacity building opportunities hosted, or co-sponsored, by the City of Knoxville.

6. Youth Engagement

The City’s Office of Community Safety and / or Office of Community Empowerment may invite Opportunity Youth participating in grant-funded programming to participate in networking, service, recreational and enrichment activities hosted, or co-sponsored, by the City of Knoxville, including but not limited to the City of Knoxville 2022 Youth Summit (anticipated date: July 23, 2022).  Funded organizations will need to assist participating Opportunity Youth in attending and participating in such events and activities.


Funded entities will be required to enter into an agreement with the City of Knoxville that includes the following requirements: 

1. Comply with the following ethical standards prescribed by the Knoxville City Code:
    (A) Sec. 2-1048. Conflict of Interest;
    (B) Sec. 2-1049. Receipt of Benefits from City Contracts by Councilmembers, Employees and Officers of the City;
    (C) Sec. 2-1050. Gratuities and Kickbacks Prohibited;
    (D) Sec. 2-1051. Covenant Relating to Contingent Fees; and
    (E) Sec. 2-1052. Restrictions on Employment of Present and Former City Employees
2. Comply with all applicable requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (“ADA”).

3. Not discriminate against any participant, employee, or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, or national origin.

4. Take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, or national origin.

5. State in all solicitations or advertisements for employees that all qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, or national origin.

6. Include these same Non-Discrimination provisions (#2, 3, 4, and 5 above) are included in subcontracts, subleases, etc. relevant to funded work.

7. Religious organizations receiving funding under this program may not utilize grant funds to engage in any of the following activities:
    (A) Perform inherently religious activities such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization;
    (B) Acquire, construct, or rehabilitate structures or properties that shall be used for inherently religious activities, including sanctuaries and chapels; and
    (C) Discriminate against any beneficiary or prospective beneficiary of the grant on the basis of religion or belief
8. Agree to indemnify / hold harmless the City using terms standard to City agreements.

9. Subject to the Risk Manager’s determination, hold general liability insurance coverage with a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate coverage. 

For applicants proposing to work with minors, grantees shall maintain sexual abuse and molestation coverage at limits equal to or greater than the required commercial general liability limits. 

(Note that sexual abuse and molestation is a standard exclusion in commercial general liability insurance policies. If an entity will be working with minors, insurance for sexual abuse and molestation will be required. While not automatically covered under the commercial general liability policy, some carriers will add coverage by endorsement for an additional premium. A separate policy covering this exposure can also be purchased.)

Grantees will need to furnish the City with original certificates and amendatory endorsements effecting coverage required by this document. Such endorsements will include, without limitation, additional insured and waiver of subrogation naming the City of Knoxville, its officials, officers, employees, and volunteers.