Juvenile Justice & Youth Development
Programs & Grants
Neighborhood Youth Centers (NYC)
The Neighborhood Youth Center Program is a State of Connecticut program designed to increase the range and extent of positive experiences for at-risk youth. It focuses specifically on supporting neighborhood youth centers that serve youth ages twelve through seventeen who live in seven of Connecticut's largest cities (Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, and Waterbury). Centers are located conveniently for youth within target neighborhoods and are open evenings and weekends. They offer athletic and recreational opportunities, enrichment or tutoring activities, skills training, and other preventive and intervention services for youth and their families.
Research findings on delinquency and substance use prevention consistently show that positive youth development approaches work best to prevent undesirable behavior in our youth. By providing recreational activities, leadership opportunities, skills training, and consistent contact with supportive adults and peers, neighborhood youth centers promote feelings of competence and a connection to the community. Visit the Publications page to see a series of program evaluation reports for the Neighborhood Youth Center Program.
The Neighborhood Youth Center Program began in fiscal year 1994/1995 with 17 grants to serve youth in the seven eligible cities (Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford and Waterbury). Because of a statutory change in the method of calculating allocations among eligible cities, additional monies to support expanded efforts in Bridgeport and New Haven were available for 1995/1996, resulting in 18 continuation grants (one grant was split into two) and 4 new grants for centers.
For 1996/1997, Public Act 96-226 AN ACT CONCERNING THE NEIGHBORHOOD YOUTH CENTER GRANT PROGRAM made significant changes to the program including lessening the required components, adding a funding criterion on neighborhood collaboration, and mandating the solicitation of competitive proposals for fiscal years beginning July 1, 1996, July 1, 1999 and every two years thereafter.
In 1997/1998 and 1998/1999, 22 grants were funded under the Neighborhood Youth Center Program. For 1999/2000, 25 grants were made to support 29 centers, and federal Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act funds supplemented the state allocation and supported the evaluation of Neighborhood Youth Centers by the University of Connecticut Center for Applied Research. For 2000/2001, 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 state and federal monies continued to be used to support both the centers and an evaluation of them. The state law governing this program can be found in C.G.S. Section 7-127d through 7-127g.
For 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 no state monies were allocated for the Neighborhood Youth Center Program. The program was revised with eight grants supporting activities at twelve centers, all using federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funds. Again an evaluation was conducted by the Center for Applied Research at the University of Connecticut. This evaluation collected process data to inform center operations.
For 2005/2006 through 2010/2011 the federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funds were used to support the Neighborhood Youth Center Program Revised. In addition, state monies were allocated to support a Neighborhood Youth Center Boys & Girls Clubs Program and a Neighborhood Youth Center State Grant Program for 2005/2006 and have continued through to 2010/2011.
Funding for the Neighborhood Youth Center (NYC) State Grant Program has been transferred to the State Department of Education. There are no longer any NYC funding opportunities at the Office of Policy and Management.