The Youth Joy and Wellness Fund
The Youth Joy and Wellness Fund, a Project of Oakland Thrives,
provides resources for fun, connection, and healing
for children and youth in Oakland to support mental health and wellness
The Youth Joy and Wellness Fund supports innovative and creative approaches to youth mental health and wellness in Oakland, CA. Many young people in Oakland are still reeling from the mental health crisis caused by the challenges of living in the pandemic, with community violence, poverty and systemic racism. Community-based organizations and schools have shown that the demand and opportunity to create non-traditional services and systems that support youth mental health and wellness exists. Now is the time to redefine support for youth mental health and wellness in Oakland.
The Youth Joy and Wellness Fund provides rapid response grants to youth programs and schools for projects, events, and services. Grant applications are generally reviewed and responded to within 48-hours to support individuals and programs in moving from planning to action. The fund provides two types of grants:
- Individual: Up to $1,500
- Program or School: Up to $10,000
Supporting youth mental health and wellness can come in many forms. For example, when asked what they needed to heal, young people said, “We need safe, fun, places to be with our friends and adults who care about us.” Holding a safe space for youth and trusted adults to come together could be a way to support youth that is responsive to this comment. Successful applicants must be responsive to the needs of the youth that they support. Preferred applicants include youth partners in their application and implementation processes.
Individual Grants: Any individual – such as teachers, counselors, coaches, program coordinators, peer educators, and youth leaders – working with youth age 5-25 at an Oakland 501(c)(3) nonprofit or Oakland public, charter, or private school is eligible to apply for a grant up to $1,500. All grants are paid to the nonprofit or school.
Program or School Grants: Any Oakland 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving youth age 5-25 or Oakland public, charter, or private school is eligible to apply for a grant up to $10,000. All grants are paid to the nonprofit or school.
We encourage creativity in your approach to youth mental health and wellness. Activities that promote youth joy can be many, such as:
- Holding in-person or online youth affirming spaces
- Art-based activities
- Supporting youth-led projects
- Field trips: camping, museums, sporting events
- Program celebrations: renting space, food, transportation
- Stipends for youth participants, guest instructors, or specialists
- Education and training on mental health support (e.g trauma-informed care, healing-centered engagement, social emotional learning)
Please note: All grants are paid to the nonprofit or school. General operating expenses and staff salaries are not funded through this grant.
Funds are limited and applications will be processed on a rolling basis until resources are expended.
Please follow these steps in order to apply:
- Click here to visit the online application portal Submittable.
- Create a login account.
- Complete the online application. Please note you can save a draft of your application and return at a later time before officially submitting it.
Please note that all communication is done through Submittable.
This round of funding is now CLOSED.
Please check back for updates.
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