Safer Foundation Seeks Non-Profit Organizations in Mid-West to Apply for Community Grants
Date:  08-19-2014

Funds available for development of programs that help court-involved youth develop job skills
CHICAGO, II-August 12, 2014 - The Safer Foundation (Safer) is seeking nonprofit organizations to apply for community grants through the Safer Midwest Reentry and Employment Network (MREN). Register for the bidders' conference webinar here. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, MREN grants will allow organizations to develop programs that address employment barriers for court-involved youth 17-24, helping them develop the skills needed to obtain good jobs. Organizations interested in submitting a proposal should go to the Safer Foundation website.

"Safer Foundation is delighted to be the pass-through for federal funding to help our youth here in Chicago and other Midwestern cities. We have long valued collaboration as the most powerful tool to bring meaningful change," said Safer President and CEO Victor Dickson, "Safer Midwest Reentry and Employment Network is a tangible example of Safer Foundation's commitment to building partnerships with other agencies serving the justice- involved, in this case our youth. We are confident that Safer MREN will assist youth in securing expungement of their records and meaningful employment."

The RFP process seeks to identify community organizations serving high-poverty, high-crime areas capable of providing core services that include youth intensive case management, mentoring, educational interventions, service learning, occupational training in in-demand industries, workforce development and follow-up services. Also required are expungement and diversion services, which research confirms are proven or promising strategies that improve life outcomes for court-involved youth. Organizations are encouraged to collaborate/partner with local organizations with the legal expertise to assist in providing criminal records relief. Safer plans to award up to four MREN grants, ranging from $125,000 to $250,000 per year, for three years. Services will be provided in at least two states, and the targeted areas are Chicago; St. Louis; Milwaukee; and Davenport, Ia.

These grants will systematically improve the workforce outcomes of court-involved youth who will obtain industry-recognized credentials that prepare them for jobs in in-demand industries using career pathways, as well as impacting outcomes from other types of training and educational supports.

Organizations interested in submitting a proposal should go to the Safer Foundation > > website. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. CDT Sept. 10, 2014.

For more information, email Kimberly Vann at About Safer Foundation: Since 1972, Safer Foundation's mission has focused on supporting, through a full spectrum of services, the efforts of people with criminal records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community and as a result, reduce recidivism. For more information, visit * Many articles refer to people with criminal records as "ex-offenders" or "offenders." While we appreciate all the positive press these issues receive, we are working to use other terms to describe our clients that do not carry such negative connotations. These terms include "people with criminal records" or "people reentering society."

Safer Foundation:

Victor Dickson, President/CEO

B. Diane Williams, President Emeritus

Sodiqa Williams, AVP, Policy and Strategy

Anthony Lowery, Director, Policy and Advocacy

Phone: 312-922-2200