Archived Grant Applications

YMCA of Greater Louisville

545 S. 2nd St.
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
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Steve Tarver (President / CEO)

Contact Person if not President or Executive Director

Dennis Enix

Development & Mission Advancement Director

Grant Request ($ Amount)


Project Title

YMCA Safe Place Services - YNOW Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Program

Project Begin Date


Project End Date



Dennis Enix (for our President / CEO)






1. Describe the proposal in a detailed narrative of services and benefits it will provide in improving standards of living and opportunities, meeting social purposes or responding to needs.

The Y-NOW Intensive Mentoring Program for Children of Incarcerated Parents is a proven intervention to break the generational and systemic cycle of incarceration for middle school youth. By giving youth a safe and care community, they are able to see that they are not alone. This program allows the participants to open up and process this trauma; ultimately letting go of its hold on their thoughts, actions, and future. Finally, they begin to take control of their future narrative by setting goals they aspire to verses being victim to their societal circumstances.

The program focuses on this social-emotional learning and educational success through an intensive, 10-month curriculum, a peer cohort, and a positive relationship with an adult mentor. The program’s structured meetings and curriculum provides a clear path through the anticipated transformation. It inspires children of prisoners to find their voice and to stay in school. Y-NOW mentors provide inspiration to youth about what higher education can do for their lives. The program provides a safe and supportive place for these youth who often experience embarrassment, shame, and/or guilt associated with having a parent incarcerated. It is the only youth mentoring program in Louisville dedicated to serving children of prisoners.

In 2004, YMCA Safe Place Services implemented the Y-NOW program to address the specific needs of youth with incarcerated parents. Due to the program’s success over the years, in 2014 with the help of the KY Social Welfare Foundation, the program doubled its enrollment from 15 to 30 youth. This expansion included hiring a full-time Case Manager and broadening the two-day kick-off workshop into a three-day camping retreat.

In 2015, we began working with elementary schools to facilitate 10-week YNOW afterschool groups of 15-20 fourth and fifth grade students, working with 5-8 schools each year.

YMCA Safe Place Services continued to focus on expanding the Y-NOW program. In 2017 with the help of the KY Social Welfare Foundation, a Spring cohort was piloted to see whether running two staggered classes would be possible. This had become a permanent addition, effectively doubling the program’s annual size. This expansion included hiring a second Case Manager, as well as adding a 3-day retreat camp and all program materials and meals for a second class.

Even though the Y-NOW experience for these youth begins in elementary or middle school, they are part of the Y-NOW alumni family forever. The YMCA staff continue to case manage, plan annual activities for, and engage 231 alumni youth and families through to high school graduation. This helps us track outcomes; show our new youth that this is a supportive family of staff, volunteers, and past program participants; and helps our program graduates be responsible as leaders and an example to our new youth. Following the 2019-2020 school year, we celebrated 66 graduations (14 from HS, 42 from MS, and 10 from college). Instead of a group celebration, the staff team did individual home visits to congratulate and thank each of them for sticking to their goals and moving one step closer to the future that they have envisioned.

This KY Social Welfare grant request will help us to continue to adjust the program model to deal with the devastating programmatic and financial effects of COVID-19. This grant will help us navigate and put into place these new congregational safety guidelines, social distancing, and new program normal without jeopardizing the effectiveness of the program or the safety of the youth, staff and volunteers.

COVID impacted our Fall 2019 cohort of youth, which finished their program virtually with mentors and staff April – July 2020. The youth and mentors were great and continued their commitments to connect weekly over the phone and virtually face to face. The staff recorded program curriculum and had virtual group meetings. The mentors helped youth with the Nontraditional Instruction virtual schoolwork. And then instead of a group program graduation, the staff did home visits with each youth and their mentors. Many times this was held outside on a front lawn. Youth were presented with their certificate of completion and a plaque highlighting their 2 goals, so that they could continue to stay focused on their future. This program graduation for the youth is just the start. They are now equipped but will need to put into practice the skills learned and use the supportive group to overcome any obstacles that get in the way of them being successful in school, the community, and in life. We plan to do an alumni event especially for this cohort group of youth and mentors as soon as some of the group restrictions are lifted.

Sadly, we have 32 youth and 32 mentors that were enrolled (January – April 2020) and scheduled to participate in our Spring 2020 cohort beginning in May 2020. These cohorts start with a 3 day overnight retreat which is the kickoff of the program. This of course had to be cancelled. We now have 16 additional youth referrals are working with these youth and mentors in a holding pattern with the hope of kicking off this cohort in October 2020. Programming and care for these youth and families are being developed and adjusted to meet these unusual circumstances. COVID has impacted the YMCA and Y-NOW Program greatly.

COVID Impact on the YMCA

Along with our generous donors the YMCA of Greater Louisville had a collective business model of membership and program services that helped provide a generous internal margin that generously supported Y-NOW and many other community strengthening programs. Here is a summary of the negative COVID impact on the Y.

The Y has been hurt by COVID as a result of this business interruption and our membership cancellation numbers. The YMCA was never stronger than pre COVID. Currently sixty percent of our members have either cancelled or put their memberships on hold. In the first few weeks of reopening we are only seeing 25-30% of members return. The congregating and economic fears will affect the Y model for many months and even years. The new normal has cost each of our Y centers $15,000 to $30,000 each for signage, Plexiglas, PPE, disinfectant foggers, new sanitizer stations, and so much more. Also, larger non-profits missed out on some of the government relief that was available for smaller businesses and non-profits.

The YMCA business model relies on a diverse continuum of earned revenue programs and services that make up 80% of our agency’s annual budget. These 100+ programs and membership opportunities focus on improving the health of our community, preparing youth for school and life, and exercising our collective social responsibility. Each year the Y impacts 200,000+ unduplicated youth, adults and seniors from all backgrounds, zip codes and diversities that make our community such an amazing place to live work and play.

As the Y has become stronger over the years, we have increased the scope of our community impact. Along with our diverse fundraising efforts (annual campaign, grants, special events, and government / corporate support), the YMCA business model created a healthy internal margin which helped us generously serve over 50,000 - homeless, immigrants, seniors, cancer survivors, youth and adults struggling with chronic diseases, children of prisoners, and individual and families throughout our community that are not turned away from any of our services for a lack or inability to pay. This means 100+ youth go to camp, 2,000 youth learn to swim, 800 teens and parents in crisis receive family mediation, 50 homeless men have a transitional place to live, hundreds of immigrant teens and their families are welcomed into our community, branches are located in low income parts of our community, and so much more. These diverse YMCA members and program participants are such a vital part of our mission and truly make our Y family so special. You will never be able to point them out on the youth sports field, sitting in school following a safe night in our youth shelter, roasting marshmallows around a campfire, engaged in childcare activities, or swimming laps in our pools. They are afforded the same opportunities and privileges and are woven into the fabric of our Y family.

When the community and our YMCA facilities, youth sports fields, playgrounds, camps, swimming pools, and over 100 childcare program centers are shut down our business model of support ceases to exist. Sadly, it has been these special Y family members in many cases that have been and will be impacted the most.

When eighty percent of our Y community strengthening work halted as a result of this COVID crisis, this meant 80% of our 2,000 employee team were furloughed and unemployed (1,792 to be exact). Childcare workers, youth sports referees, group exercise instructors, lifeguards, maintenance and housekeeping support, IT, finance, etc. The Y still covered their full healthcare benefits for two full months at $120,000 per month. The YMCA is also a self-insured workers comp organization. Because of our past low history of layoffs, this saved us money annually. The COVID shutdown has created a $3,000,000+ unemployment liability that continues to grow. The fundraising we received from our members has all been to support our staff team. These efforts have raised $60,000 and we have distributed over $45,000 back to our employees and their families.

The YMCA was the only governor approved emergency childcare provider in Kentucky for state approved essential service workers: Medical Staff / First Responders / Grocery / Homeless Providers / Social Workers / Utilities. This service is not like our traditional summer day camps or licensed childcare. There were many regulations on group sizes, health screening at drop off and throughout the day, and HR verifications which ended up costing the Y over $30,000 per month to operate at its 5 branch locations.

There is a childcare crisis looming in this community as many smaller centers have no way to afford reopening. The YMCA is the largest provider of childcare in the community. Before COVID we served over 5,000 youth daily. The Y is currently struggling to provide our traditional summer day camps and preschool childcare because the per child expenses have doubled with mandated staff ratios, screening, PE, and social distancing requirements. We could increase our rates sustainably because of the shortage of youth slots across the community, but this would exclude many of our low-income families and youth that we were serving before COVID. The Y pre-COVID did have healthy department margins on before and afterschool childcare and summer day camps. Now any childcare we decide to do in this current situation does not cover its costs.

YMCA Safe Place Services has been open throughout this community shutdown. It is the only runaway, homeless and crisis shelter for teens in our community. They have not skipped a beat in Shelter House, Street Outreach, and Drop-In Center and have seen increases in need from growing numbers of teens and young adults that are homeless and in crisis. Homeless college students with nowhere to go, teen couch surfers that were not welcome at friends' homes to crash, and this family togetherness is challenging for struggling families in crisis. LMPD is still not responding to minor family disputes or beyond control issues, some of these calls are being directed to us. As mentioned, Y-NOW even did virtual mentoring, outdoor social distancing home visits, and celebrated with each of our alumni graduates.

YMCA Safe Place Services also, as you are aware, benefits greatly from the YMCA family, 20-25% of their budget comes from the Y. This support has been over $500,000 annually for the last 4 years. Even in our planning for 2020, our gap funding assumed a smaller available Y ability to underwrite Safe Place with the opening of the new Republic Bank Foundation YMCA in west Louisville. This new YMCA Community Integrated Health partnership branch was beating all of our wildest expectations for membership and usage before we had to close it just 90 days after we opened it due to COVID. Now the YMCA’s generous internal underwriting ability has completely disappeared. We have closed two branch centers – Bullitt County and Middletown. More may be coming.

The Y is doing all that we can to resource Safe Place (including Y-NOW), Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, and Childcare. These are all core community needs and now the Y will need to raise gap funding until our generous business model can be slowly rebuilt. The Y has been a vital community resource for 167 years and has weathered many national and community challenges. This will certainly have historical impacts on our Y and we will certainly not weather this alone. Things are changing so fast and we are doing our best to share our pre-COVID work and our current needs. In full transparency, we have pulled the curtain back and know that there will be further questions. It should be noted that our attached financials from 2018 (2019 tax document still being finalized) show this strength but not the current financial situation that we face moving forward. We would be more than happy to pull together our team to discuss any of these issues further, should there be a need for more clarification.

Y-NOW (Pre-COVID Model)

The Y-NOW program for each of the two separate annual cohorts (Fall & Spring) enrolls 30 students, ages 11 to 15, who have one or both parents incarcerated. Youth are referred by school staff and other community partners, and must complete an informational meeting and application packet in order to be selected to participate in the 10-month program. Of the youth enrolled in the program, approximately 85% are living at or below the poverty level, 74% are performing poorly in school, and 30% have been held back a year in school. The majority of Y-NOW participants identify as non-white (African-American and multi-racial).

The Y-NOW experience begins with a 3-day camp retreat for youth and mentors that is designed to build a safe caring community of these adults and youth. Many youth for the first time are able to process the hurt and pain of having a parent in prison. They get to cast a vision of the life they desire, set goals, and attempt to identify barriers to their success. Mentors also get to set goals and hear the stories and dreams of these amazing youth. On the last day of the retreat, youth are paired with their adult mentors who commit to making weekly contact with their youth that demonstrates support and consistency. The program also depends on mentors to demonstrate accountability as a core value to their students by following through on weekly commitments.

Over the next 10 months, youth and mentors participate in a structured curriculum by attending group meetings every two weeks and several all-day activities throughout the year. Participants practice decision-making, leadership accountability, and remedying mistakes at every meeting. Curriculum topics include: Anger Management; Educational Goals; Diversity; Human Sexuality; and the Criminal Justice System. As a group, they develop a sense of solidarity and encouragement that promotes participation, self-confidence and academic achievement. All meetings include a nutritious family or buffet style meal prepared by our Safe Place kitchen staff that prepare all of the meals for the youth shelter and youth drop-in center as well.

Each year, the cohort plans and implements a community service project. Other special activities include a holiday celebration, an overnight “Lock-In”, a family recreational day, and a year-end graduation ceremony.

Through the course of the program, each youth experiences the following:
1) Attending a 3-hour youth enrollment session where they are introduced to the program, complete the registration, sign a commitment to the program and set their educational and personal goals for the program.
2) Attending a 3-day/ 2-night camp retreat. This is an intensive and highly structured retreat that includes approximately 2 volunteers per youth. This launches the group experience for the cohort, and builds a strong sense of unity amongst the youth, mentors, other program volunteers, and staff. The weekend builds the group’s trust, including a trusted sense of safety within the group. It sets the tone and lays the groundwork for the entire program cycle. By Sunday, the participants are paired with their mentors who have made up about half of the total volunteers at camp.
3) Consistent interaction with a qualified and screened adult mentor throughout the program year. The focus of the weekly mentor contact is to keep the youth focused on their educational goal that is set at the beginning of the cycle. This includes committed weekly, direct contact by the participant’s mentor, including phone calls, face-to-face time, and bi-weekly group meetings. The mentor asks questions that help the youth examine the choices they make, including the consequences and impacts of those choices. Mentors are expected to discuss the whole range of curriculum topics with their youth. And of course, the mentors also provide support and encouragement. Mentors attend a two-day training to give them the tools to best engage with the youth in these ways.
4) Attending 14 group meetings. Meetings are 3 hours each, and include all participants, their mentors, and program staff. Meetings include a meal, a structured curriculum topic, as well as a number of activities that support group trust, sharing, and accountability. Each meeting includes a time for members of the group to admit to mistakes (primarily in their life outside of the group) and how they are rectifying the mistake(s).
5) Two Saturday educational outings: Incarceration Day visits a local halfway house and speaks with inmates about incarceration. Other activities of the day include the process of incarceration, how to interact with the police, and justice issues associated with mass incarceration. Community Service Day sees the group conduct a self-planned community service project. In 2016, the class volunteered their time with a homeless men’s shelter.
6) Three celebratory events: An overnight, “Lock-In” party in December, a Family Day at a water park in June, and a program graduation in July. These events include all participants, mentors, and program staff. Activities at the lock in include a talent show, swimming, movie and games.
7) Case Management: The Case Manager visits each participant’s school on a monthly basis to review the participant’s academic progress, attendance and behavior. The Case Manager also provides direct support to the participant’s caregiver and mentor. The Case Manager will facilitate mediation and accountability meetings with the caregiver, youth, and mentor as needed to address issues (such as running away, truancy, making bad choices and violence in the home) that require additional support.
8) Opportunities to lead activities and participate in decision-making at all program activities. Participants can also choose to continue as a Youth Leader for the incoming cohort.
9) A sense of solidarity amongst a group of peers, and connection with an active network of Y-NOW alumni.
10) Unconditional support of program staff throughout the year (and, as an alum, beyond).

The program invests approximately $5,500 per youth, but the payoff is remarkable. Each year, Y-NOW alumni, who once were unlikely to make it, graduate high school and look toward higher education. Y-NOW alumni regularly talk about the difference that Y-NOW has made in their personal and educational development.

Y-NOW Sustainability Plan 2020-2021
There was talk about suspending all new enrollees into the program and just focusing one year on the alumni group of Y-NOW participants, which we support through to high school graduation. This group now has 231 youth. But we had a group of youth and mentors ready to go to camp in the Spring that were put on hold when COVID forced the close and cancellation of their camp. So we are planning to engage them this Fall.

We did have to make some staff program cuts. We had 4 full time (Director, 2 Case Managers, 1 Volunteer Coordinator) and one part time support staff supporting the Y-NOW program before COVID. We now are down to 2 full time staff (Director and Case Manager). This will only allow us to facilitate one cohort each year and support the alumni group. These were tough decisions but done to preserve the program and reduce the negative financial burden on the YMCA.

Y-NOW Mentoring – Intensive 10 Month (1) Program Cohort per year
1) Fall Class (2020): In October of 2020, our Y-NOW class (recruited for the Spring 2020 class) will launch with their retreat under social distancing guidelines of 10 youth to a group.

This will take place at one of our YMCA branches or our YMCA Safe Place Services and National Safe Place Network buildings located on Crittenden Drive. The larger group will be divided into smaller family groups of 10 youth and ten mentors. We will either run one weekend and rotate smaller groups or do three separate weekends for these smaller groups to get all youth through the foundational program start. The youth will not stay overnight but be picked up and transported home each day. We will use smaller 14-15 passenger buses that the YMCA has in their fleet for transportation. The youth will then stay in these groups throughout the 10 month program or until restrictions are lifted. Masks and other precautions will be taking, including individual box lunches and meals for all participants.

2) Fall Class (2021): In October of 2021 we hope to return to our normal Y-NOW program model. This Y-NOW cohort will launch with their 3-day retreat at Country Lakes Retreat center, following the youth enrollment and mentor recruitment / training.

Y-NOW Continuum of Care

Four Y-NOW Alumni Gatherings are normally planned each year. A new effort to engage parents/caregivers/mentors will be offered 2x / year and with much smaller gatherings. Our Shelter House staff case managers and hotline are always available to Y-NOW youth and families in crisis. Our alumni group continues to grow each year and we are currently tracking and providing support services to 251 youth graduate alumni.

One further program note related to the current racial unrest and community climate towards the police. YMCA Safe Place Services has been partnering with LMPD over the last 15 years to help them be more understanding and compassionate in their dealings with youth. They now are one of our best referral partners.
2019: 468 youth residents
1,437-Crisis Hotline Calls
129-Safe Place - pick ups
223-Youth walk ins
163-Parent walk ins
289-LMPD - youth transported to Safe Place; field release, homelessness, survival crimes, family domestic issues, etc.

The SPS – LMPD Field Release launched in 2005 to prevent the disproportionate number of minority youth that were detained illegally for minor charges. The Metro Youth Detention Center made it easy for LMPD to drop youth off for every offense, but many youth were then incarcerated when, for family or transportation reasons, the youth was not picked up. We eliminated this risk of unnecessary and illegal incarceration for the youth of Jefferson County.

Safe Place / LMPD Field Release has been in the Louisville community for 15 years. With the budget cuts and the closing of the Metro Youth Detention Facility, this program is needed more than ever. This program has taught officers to be more compassionate in their interactions with teens. Many situations are now looked at from a trauma informed approach and not addressed simply with a law enforcement and punishment mentality. Officers will often call our Safe Place hotline and process with our case management staff appropriate options for youth and families they encounter. Much has been discussed about community health professionals aiding LMPD when they respond to calls related to the homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, and/or addiction. We have been doing this with the police as it relates to teens in crisis. The police will even have us speak with the youth and family on the phone to inform them of our services and get their consent to participate; then they provide the youth transportation.

The Field Release Program has fit very well in the continuum of prevention services provided by YMCA Safe Place Services. This has helped us educate, engage, and support youth and families at the first signs of crisis and at-risk behaviors. It has also educated the LMPD about the various underlining issues that often exist in these teen crime and crisis situations. The LMPD are truly our eyes in the community helping us serve teens and families in need with supportive and preventative services.
Most Y-NOW youth have experienced police kicking in their doors, arresting their parent or parents, and hauling them off in handcuffs. This Adverse Childhood Experience is traumatic. These youth have been culturally and experientially conditioned to mistrust the Police. Many of the youth have had their family members and themselves harassed by the police. It is no surprise that most of our youth come from targeted west Louisville zip codes that have the highest concentrated number of youth that are dealing with the absence of a parent to the justice system. The Y-NOW program breaks this systemic and generational cycle of incarceration and truly begins a new educational and economic trajectory for these families. 95% of Y-NOW youth graduate from high school. 80% of these graduates attend college, the other group will be meaningfully employed or join one of our armed services branches. We currently have over 200 Y-NOW college graduates.

LMPD have been engaged with the Y-NOW groups for three years now as part of the face to face curriculum. Our goal is to have youth develop their own narrative toward the police and determine the best ways in which to view, associate, respect, and utilize the police. The youth have the ability to confront and question the police but in return afford them the opportunity to share their side of the story. The officers share why they joined the police and the challenges of keeping the community safe and themselves safe. These sessions have been some of the most honest, open, and transformational conversations. We are also working on ways to get the police involved in the program graduation celebrations helping us honor these youth along with parents, family, mentors, staff, and the youth that complete their 10 month program commitment.

2. Attach your Project Budget.


3. Provide a narrative that clearly defines how Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation funds will be used and accounted for in relation to the Narrative above. Provide the start dates and timelines for tasks.

These funds would support the Y-NOW Retreats and program & food supplies expenses related to the Fall 2020 (COVID modified) program cohort held between October 2020 and July 2021; and the Fall 2021 Cohort camp held in October 2021.

KY Social Welfare Foundation
Fall 2020 Retreat & Transportation $ 9,000

Fall 2019 Camp & Transportation $ 9,000

Food Supplies $4,000

Program Supplies $3,000

TOTAL $ 25,000

Camp and transportation costs include the contract for the Fall 2021, 3-day / 2-night retreats at Country Lake Camp & Retreat Center in Henryville, Indiana (meals included) for approximately 80 people (30 youth, 30 mentors, 15 volunteers, and 5 staff), and the contract for bus transportation to and from the retreat center from YMCA Safe Place Services. Our Fall 2020 Retreat will be set up differently to meet recommended social distancing guidelines and will be split into three different weekends.

Upcoming Youth Camp Retreats: $8,500 each.
Fall 2020: October 2nd – 5th, 9th – 11th, & 16th – 18th, 2020;

Fall 2021: October 2nd-4th 2021.

Miller Transportation has been a longstanding YMCA partner providing bus transportation for many of our programs. A one way deluxe bus trip to the site is $250, so we budget $500 for each retreat for bus transportation. Splitting the groups will require us to use smaller buses and have three verse just one bus.

Sharing a meal together is a critical component of building trust and solidarity within the Y-NOW group experience. Each cohort will share a meal together at least twice each month. This $4,000 is the cost of food supplies for an average of 60 people (youth, mentors, volunteers and staff) for an average of 22 meals for each of the cohorts. As mentioned doing individual box lunches for COVID will increase costs.

Program supplies are used during each gathering to help youth explore their feelings, build self-confidence, and find their voice. Supplies are most commonly arts-n-crafts type of supplies, but this will include PPE and other precautions needed to keep youth and mentors safe.


4. Describe your agency’s service area with regard to population, cultural, racial and ethnic makeup.

The goal of YMCA Safe Place Services is to keep children with their families and free of unnecessary foster care, juvenile detention, or mental health diagnosis / medications / and-or placements. We are doing this through prevention methods based on positive youth development, trauma informed care, intense case management, LGBTQ support, mentoring, education focus, and family mediation.

The YMCA has been committed over the last 20 years to improving Community Health in new ways. Past Jefferson County Health Department Director (Y-NOW Mentor & YMCA Board Member), Dr. Adewale Troutman helped the Y focus our community health efforts on youth education. He made it clear, that as kindergarten readiness and high school graduation rates improved, so then would the health and well being of our community. In 2020, the YMCA kindergarten readiness, youth education, and Safe Place programs were the largest combined internal investment of YMCA funds ($1,653,991 of our $2,066,578), see attached department budgets attached in the budget section. These annual Y allocations directed to these out of school time program efforts are all made with the goal of health equity through education and family supports.

The YMCA, as explained below, does not have this generous internal capacity following the devastating effects of COVID on our organization, and is committed to building the external capacity to sustain these vital community health efforts by improving the education and enrichment of our low income and minority youth.
The Y-NOW Program casts a wide net when seeking participants at enrollment time. School counselors, case workers, family court, and teachers are a great source of referrals for Y-NOW. We are also recruiting youth from our other YMCA branches and programs currently serving Louisville’s low income schools and neighborhoods. Household income is never a disqualifier from our programming however, the majority of youth enrolled in Y-NOW have always been from low-income households. In 2019, 78% of youth participants were part of households living below the federal poverty level, 18% were living in households under 200% of the federal poverty level, and the remaining 4% were from households over 200% of the federal poverty level. In 2019, 82% of youth participants were non-Caucasian (54% identified as African-American and 28% identified as multi-racial). The average participant age was 12.7 years old.

Of the 48 youth who we have enrolled and held over for the upcoming cohort, most are from zip codes with high levels of households living in poverty; 23 youth (48%) live in Low Income Opportunity Zone census tracts and a total of 25 youth (52%) live in Low or Moderate Income census tracts. Multi-dimensional poverty and concentrated poverty are plaguing the kids of Louisville with life-long negative impacts.

5. Indicate total number of paid staff and total number of volunteers.

As mentioned, we have had to adjust staffing to sustain the programs and maintain a quality of care for our youth and families. YMCA Safe Place Services had 23 full-time staff, 25 part-time staff, and over 150 volunteers. We are down to 16 full-time and 30 part-time staff. The Y-NOW staff situation has been explain earlier. Y-NOW program had a full-time Director, 2 full-time Case Managers, full-time Volunteer Recruiter, and one part-time Administrative Clerk. We are down to the 2 full-time staff and will continue to rely on about 100 volunteers annually, including 30 volunteer Mentors per Y-NOW cohort.

6. List the goals and objectives of your agency.

The YMCA's mission has remained consistent over the years - to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. This mission has guided the Y in creating and adapting its services to best strengthen the foundations of our community and meet local needs. Currently, our focus areas are Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. In recent years, the YMCA of Greater Louisville has deepened its impact and partnering collaborations focused on improving public health, eradicating racial and low-income inequities, and using our out of school time with youth to improve educational readiness and success.

In 2019 the YMCA served 200,000+ individuals in Greater Louisville. Our historical record of community support is extensive. In our 167 year history, the YMCA provided healthy spiritual and physical activities for men during the Industrial Revolution; was a familiar stop for guests from around the globe here in Louisville as railroads stretched across the US; provided education / recreation / lifesaving trainings for the military inside Camp Zachary Taylor; provided inexpensive housing; promoted good health; served as a site for many of the area's racial reconciliation activities and the promotion of civil rights; expanded into child care as two parent working families increased; provided teens in crisis a place to go (Safe Place) for counseling and shelter; character development; sports; and much more.

Over the years, the Y has worked alongside our community through many tough times of war, racial unrest, economic downturns, and spiritual / mental / and physical health issues. Louisville and the Y will overcome. And hopefully in doing so we can make sure that everyone is given equal opportunity to succeed and overcome together with us. YMCA Safe Place Services as an agency seeks to keep families together and youth out of state-based (foster care and juvenile justice) systems whenever possible by providing safety, shelter and support. The goal of the Y-NOW program is to break the generational cycle of incarceration and enable children of prisoners to set and achieve healthy, productive, and financially sound lifestyles as they enter adulthood.

The program uses a Positive Youth Development approach throughout its intensive course of activities and structured curriculum to support participants as they transform their relationship with education. Positive Youth Development is defined as defined as an intentional, pro-social approach that engages youth in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances youths' strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.

Although Y-NOW students enroll while they are in middle school, the program’s objectives are long-term. Y-NOW alumni will:
• graduate high school;
• remain free and clear of the criminal justice system; and
• pursue post-secondary education or vocational training following high school graduation.

Y-NOW’s objectives over the course of the 10-month program are:
• To improve academic performance;
• To prevent involvement as a perpetrator with the criminal justice system; and
• To successfully pass on to the next grade level.

The Y-NOW Program relies on client data collected within the program as well as from external sources to determine the program’s effectiveness. Program data includes:
• Comprehensive intake questionnaires;
• Case notes documenting youths’ goals and progress toward their goals;
• Program completion surveys completed by youth and parents/caregivers to obtain information on the quality and effectiveness of services provided;
• School data including grades and graduation information provided by JCPS.
• Criminal justice data provided through the Kentucky Department of Corrections.


7. Describe why this project is needed and how it implements the purpose of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation.

In 2010, Kentucky was the epicenter of a national crisis of prison growth as our state’s inmate population had skyrocketed at a rate nearly four times faster than the national average. An increased reliance on incarceration for nonviolent offenses led to more parents in jail or prison. This wreaked havoc on Kentucky’s most vulnerable families, leaving too many households in turmoil and far too many children separated from a parent.

Today, an estimated 135,000 children in Kentucky have had a parent incarcerated. At 13%, Kentucky’s proportion of children who have had an incarcerated parent is nearly double that of the national average of 7%, and it is the 2nd highest rate per (child) capita in the nation. Kentucky is 1st for percentage of incarcerated female inmates.

The impact of a parent's incarceration is profound in both immediate and long-term consequences for children. When a parent is in jail or prison, it creates an unstable environment for kids that can have lasting effects like poverty, changes in living situations, animosity toward the police, and mental and emotional health issues. Parental incarceration is linked to parental substance abuse and mental illness; child abuse and out-of-home placement; and youth involvement in the juvenile justice system. Children of prisoners are heavily impacted by socio-economic hardship, and weighed down by the shame of their parent's incarceration. Many struggle in school, eventually losing out on the promise of educational opportunity.

Having an incarcerated parent is also considered an "Adverse Childhood Experience" (ACE). ACEs are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being such as obesity, alcoholism, and depression, later in life. ACEs include abuse, neglect and experiences of an unstable and/or dysfunctional household. As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for negative health outcomes.

Kentucky has made several positive movements to address parental incarceration. The Kentucky legislature has passed a few reform measures which have provided proactive steps to right-size our prison populations, reunite families, hold offenders accountable, increase drug treatment, and reduce re-offense rates. COVID has wreaked havoc on our prisons and jails and the Commonwealth has released many adults so that they can control distancing and the spread of the virus. However, we still have a long way to go to reduce non-violent and drug related incarcerations and better support children who are experiencing a parent behind bars.

8. How did you identify the need that is addressed by the proposed project?

YMCA of Greater Louisville has two longstanding standout community programs that meet the unique and critical needs of vulnerable youth populations in our community. YMCA Safe Place Services is a social services branch of the YMCA of Greater Louisville and very much a part of our strong history of attacking racial and social injustices. In 1974 when the Y opened Shelter House, running away was a youth crime and it was against the law locally for adults or institutions to harbor such runaways. We have helped shift this community's understanding of these youth. These youth are not criminals nor do they necessarily need to be plucked from their homes and placed in the custodial care of the state. We are visited by organizations all over the country using our Safe Place model to see how we do it so effectively and without relying on contracted state placement beds.

Y-NOW Mentoring of Children of Incarcerated Parents, founded in 1995, has become the gold standard locally and nationally for mentoring and youth success. They create safe space for youth to process traumas that interfere with their future visions of success and life trajectories. They help youth create new visions and educational goals with a 3-day residential retreat, one on one mentoring, and a focused 10 month program. They then support the alumni program graduates through to high school graduation and beyond.

83% Shelter House and 93% of Y-NOW youth are from targeted Jefferson County federal designated Opportunity Zone and low-income zip code areas.

The parent / child relationship is a biological and psychological bond that when broken at any point and for any reason can have immediate and long-term detrimental effects. 38% of all Jefferson County youth placed into care are being shipped outside of the community furthering this family disconnect. This number could grow with the closing of the Metro Youth Detention facility. Although state systems are sometimes necessary, youth in these systems are often subject to long-term damaging effects and poor outcomes. The latest statistics show that system engaged youth have 2-5 times greater chances of peer or adult abuse, educational failure, and rates of adult homelessness and incarceration than youth diverted from the so called care of the system. With the additional strains of poverty, violence, and educational disparities our low income and minority teens can get

9. Does any other organization in your community serve this need?

No. YMCA Safe Place Services over the years has purposefully provided unique and unmet services to youth and families in our community. No other organization runs a non-system shelter for teens (Shelter House); partners with the Police Department to better serve and protect youth (LMPD Field Release); or mentors Children of Prisoners with the intensity and success of (Y-NOW). ,

10. If so, what distinguishes your agency’s services from others?

There is no other organization that we are aware of that provides the type of services that we provide to this target population.


11. Describe how you will measure outcomes of this proposal.

The Y-NOW Program relies on client data collected within the program as well as from external sources to determine the program’s effectiveness. Program data includes:
• Comprehensive intake questionnaires;
• Case notes documenting youths’ goals and progress toward their goals;
• Program completion surveys completed by youth and parents/caregivers to obtain information on the quality and effectiveness of services provided;
• School data including grades and graduation information provided by JCPS.
• Criminal justice data provided through the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Y-NOW completes an annual program evaluation based on program objectives and benchmarks. Y-NOW also regularly updates long-term data on program alumni.

Objectives Program Benchmarks
To help children of prisoners identify, plan, and begin the work to achieve their dreams/goals.
• 100% of all participants will identify 2 goals and be coached by mentors and staff throughout the one-year program.
• 85% of all participants will make significant progress and/or achieve one or more of their individualized goals.
To have all children of prisoners experience greater success academically.
• 75% of all participants will increase their overall grade point average during the program.
• 70% of all participants will decrease unexcused and truant absences during the program.
• 70% of all participants will decrease school suspensions during the program.
To reduce or prevent the use of physical violence perpetrated by children of prisoners against others.
• 70% of all participants will have 2 or less acts of physical violence during the program.
To break the cycle of incarceration, and prevent or reduce the risk of delinquency for children of prisoners.
• 75% of all participants will have no new involvement with the juvenile justice system during the program.
Participants and their families experience continued family stabilization.
• 95% of youth are able to remain in stable and safe home through to high school graduation.

12. After the grant funds are expended, describe how you will assure continuation of grant-funded services or equipment maintenance.

The Y-NOW program is firmly rooted in our continuum of youth development program services which help the YMCA deliver on our mission and promise to strengthen our community. The YMCA of Greater Louisville and YMCA Safe Place Services have developed a collective annual funding strategy using a combination of the Benevon fundraising model, multi-year donor pledges, major gifts and grants.

In light of our current YMCA financial situation, we have also begun a major gifts campaign with our past board members and donors targeting Safe Place for endowment growth. We currently receive about $40,000 each year from our YMCA endowment funds. Growing these endowment fund is one of multiple ways we are looking to protect the Safe Place programs from economic or membership downturns.

Y-NOW receives some base funding from the YMCA of Greater Louisville, Metro United Way, and the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government to support the Y-NOW program. These funders are being stretched as well. We annually rely on 30% of our program revenue from new or recurring donors and grant funders. This will need to grow to over 50% as we continue to publicly share data and testimonials from Y-NOW (one included as an additional attachment below), grow our adult mentor base, and expand our partnerships we will creatively find ways to reach more youth and attract new supporters.


13. Attach your AGENCY BUDGET showing all financial resources.


14. What fees or charges are made by the organization for its services?

No fees are ever charged to our youth or families to participate in programs at YMCA Safe Place Services. Youth and families are not required to be members of the YMCA in order to receive services.

15. What percent of the organization’s budget is used for fund-raising?


16. What percent of the organization’s budget is used for administrative costs?


17. If applicant has received prior grants from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation, provide dates, amounts, purposes and outcomes.

In 2014, the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation provided a grant of $10,000 to support the expansion of the Y-NOW program from a class of 15 participants to a class of 30 participants. Over the course of the 2014, 28 youth completed our 2013/2014 Y-Now Children of Prisoners Mentoring Program.

In 2017, the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation provided a grant of $15,000 to support adding a second cohort of the Y-NOW program increasing our reach annually from 30 participants to now 60 new participants each year.

In 2019, the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation provided a grant of $25,000 to support the two youth cohorts and growing youth alumni group support. These efforts reached 60 new participants, 28 - Fall 2019 & 32 - Spring 2020 (which are in holding for the October 2020 course) and 251 alumni youth.

Over the course of the 2014 through 2020, 273 youth have completed our Y-NOW Children of Prisoners Mentoring Program. Below are the combined outcomes including youth that graduated following the 2019-2020 school year, we celebrated 66 graduations (14 from HS, 42 from MS, and 10 from college).
• 100% of participants identified 2 goals and were coached by mentors and staff throughout the program.
• 74% of all participants increased their overall grade point average during the program.
• 80% of all participants decreased unexcused and truant absences during program.
• 73% of all participants decreased or had no suspensions from school during the program.
• 84% of all participants had 2 or less acts of physical violence during the program.
• 95% of all participants had no new involvement with the juvenile justice system during the program.
• 92% of participants passed onto the next grade level.
• 87% of all participants made significant progress and/or achieved on or more of their individualized goals.

18. Attach your IRS 501(c)(3) tax designation letter.


19. Attach your 990 or 990-PF federal tax return.


20. Attach any additional documents you wish to include with this application.


Entry ID437

Entry DateJuly 31, 2020