Council Approves Opportunity Youth, Violence Prevention Funding

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Council Approves Opportunity Youth, Violence Prevention Funding

Posted: 03/20/2024
On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Knoxville City Council approved two funding requests from the Office of Community Safety and Empowerment for a total of $247,942 to support community organizations serving opportunity youth (young people at highest risk for violence) and bringing attention to youth violence and prevention methods. 

Ten groups will receive $220,200 in funding from the Opportunity Youth Program to provide job opportunities and activities to young people ages 16-24 who are most at risk for violence. This program has developed since 2021 from a summer grant program into one that includes spring, summer and fall. 

“The extended timeframe allows for more expansive engagement with young people and gives organizations more flexibility in when they offer programming,” says Star Starks, Partnerships & Programs Coordinator for the OCSE. 

Also new this year, grant recipients will work directly with justice-involved youth as referred by Knox County Juvenile Court. This partnership serves to connect an additional number of justice-involved youth, who experience higher risks of being involved in violence, with jobs and other opportunities. 

Organizations receiving Opportunity Youth Grants for Spring-Fall 2024 are:

Battlefield Farms: $35,670
The Bottom:  $15,000
Centro Hispano: $20,000
Karate Five Association:  $15,000
Knoxville Area Urban League:  $28,231
KCDC Family Investment Foundation: $30,700
Knoxville Community Media:  $11,250
My Daughters Journey:  $27,100
Two Bikes:  $15,000
The Verb Kind:  $22,249

Ten groups will receive $27,742 in funding from the Youth Violence Prevention Week Microgrant program to provide programming, events, activities, resources or campaigns aimed at raising awareness and promoting the reduction of the many forms of youth violence during Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 22-26, 2024. Those groups are: 

Change Center:  $3,000
Drums Up Guns Down: $3,000
The Edge Foundation:  $3,000
Karate Five Association: $2,050
Knoxville Area Urban League: $3,000
Metro Drug Coalition: $2,942
My Daughters Journey: $1,875
Renounce Denounce:  $3,000
Turn Up Knox: $2,875
YWCA: $3,000

Both grant programs were competitive in process and reviewed by committees before going to staff for final approval. 

Since the grant program was initiated in 2021, the City has invested nearly $629,000 in grant funding to support youth engagement activities during spring and summer months which have served nearly 1,400 youth.

The Office of Community Safety and Empowerment leads violence interruption strategies, coordinates safety innovation and collaboration among City departments, and enhances partnerships with on-the-ground people and organizations who are working to make Knoxville safer. 

For more information about available grants and other activities of the Office of Community Safety and Empowerment, visit