Published on December 29, 2022

HARTFORD, CONN (December 29, 2022) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin and the Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation (DFCYR) announced the third round of its ‘UNITY grant’ program, which offers grants to providers serving Hartford youth.  The Hartford UNITY Grant, made possible by American Rescue plan funds, is seeking applications for projects that will help Hartford’s young people recover and heal from the isolation and disruption of the pandemic. 

The UNITY (Understanding the Needs In Today’s Youth) grant program is targeted towards Hartford youth up to age 24, especially youth who are justice-involved, disengaged, or disconnected as well as adolescents in middle-school grade, young children under 5, girls under 18, and youth living in high-need neighborhoods.  Programs that received grants in previous rounds offered social/emotional development opportunities for youth, helping support employment, enrichment, and recreation.  Programs provided mentorship, skill-building, mental health support, and basic life skills such as financial literacy.

"Our UNITY grant program is a vital part of our broader effort to help our young people recover, reconnect, heal, and just have fun in the wake of the pandemic, and we're thrilled to announce that a third round of UNITY grants is coming," said Mayor Bronin. "Through our past UNITY grants, we've provided nearly $2 million to more than sixty organizations working with our young people -- ranging from the largest, most established youth serving organizations to smaller, community-based initiatives that rarely get the support they deserve.  We are so grateful to each and every one of the providers who’ve stepped up, and I want to especially thank our federal delegation for passing the American Rescue Plan and trusting us to use these funds in the most effective way."

“Our team is proud to be able to support another round of UNITY grants and work with so many providers that care deeply about Hartford youth,” said Kristina Baldwin, Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation. “From sports to music to reading programs and more, these projects offer critical services to children and their families, and we’re happy to support them however we can.”

The RFP is now available online at www.hartfordunity.com.  The City of Hartford is seeking applications that range from $5,000 to $100,000 and which serve Hartford-resident children and youth.  The UNITY grant application will be live following a Mandatory Bidders’ Conference for all prospective applicants, which will be held on January 5th from 2-4PM via Zoom. Grant applications are due by February 6th, and awards are anticipated to be announced in mid-April.  Programs will start on or after July 1st, 2023 and end by June 30th, 2024. 

This year, program types have been expanded to include more diversity of program offerings, including Civic Engagement; Employment/Workforce Development; Environmental Stewardship; Literacy; Mental Health and Wellness (Clinical); Mentoring and Tutoring (Non-Clinical); Visual Arts; Performing Arts; Recreation and Leisure; STEM/Computer Literacy; Substance Abuse Prevention/Treatment; Youth Sports.  

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