The Futures Institute

Health Careers Opportunity Program

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Health Careers Opportunity Program

About

The Health Careers Opportunity Program grant funds supporting individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in entering a health profession through the development of academies that will support and guide them through the educational pipeline. This grant aims to increase educational, healthcare, and employment opportunities in local jurisdictions.

Eligible Uses

Compensate participants (young people pursuing a career in healthcare) through a scholarship or stipend.

Grant Award

Up to $665,228

Eligible
Recipients

Private, public, and state controlled institutions of education in states, territories, and District of Columbia.

Restrictions

Requires data tracking and reporting

Requires formalized agreement with institute of higher education

Participants must be financially eligibility for stipend / scholarship support

Due Date

May 24, 2022. This grant has been repeated in the past.

Agency

Department of Health and Human Services

Materials Needed

Unknown

Application Difficulty

Unknown

Evidence on Investments in Health and Treatment

To implement community safety-focused programs, jurisdictions must have an adequate supply of peers and professionals who can provide voluntary, non-coercive services that support physical and mental health—and allow appropriate staffing for non-carceral crisis response and similar programs. Expanding access to basic health care has been found to reduce crime, as well as save money on legal system expenses. Research demonstrates that when the number of treatment facilities for substance use disorder increases, crime decreases in the same area. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and psychiatric treatment in particular, has been found to reduce violent crime. 

This effect is especially powerful when looking at youth. Increasing wraparound services in schools that treat physical and mental health in high risk areas have been shown to reduce juvenile arrests as well as child abuse cases. High quality afterschool programs that promote students’ health and development can reduce drug use and decrease arrests and other forms of criminal-legal involvement among children. Furthermore, early childhood intervention programs, as well as nutrition programs for newborns, are likely to reduce crime. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and to psychiatric treatment in particular, has also been found to reduce violent crime. 

Community safety cannot succeed without a robust, well-trained workforce of mental health and treatment professionals—not only because these services can reduce violence and harm, but also because physical and mental health are vitally important for safety itself. For too long, this country has taken a punishment and enforcement approach to how we address mental health, substance use, and related issues; the following investments, paired with further public health-centered policy changes, are a first step toward changing this paradigm. 

Grant Writing Resources

Grants.Gov Resources

Applicant Training Videos (step-by-step guide on how to find grants, set up an account on grants.gov, and submit an application)

Applicant FAQ page

Other Resources

Community Toolbox’s Applying For Grants Toolkit (Outline of process + example applications)

FAQs

Q: What is community safety? 

A: We use the term “community safety” as well as “non-carceral safety” to indicate an approach to reducing violence and harm that invests in people over punishment. This can include unarmed civilian first responders and community violence prevention, but must also center preventative and root-caused focused solutions such as investments in schools, healthcare, and the environment. These solutions not only create holistic safety by improving well-being, they have been directly tied to reductions in violence. 

Q: How do the grants in the American Rescue Plan and other recent bills fit into this database? 

A: This database contains grants contained both in specific legislation (like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the Inflation Reduction act) but it focuses primarily on grants funded annually through the federal budget process. Please see our resources specifically on ARPA and IIJA for more information on funding opportunities in those bills. 

Q: Where should I go if I have additional questions? 

A: Feel free to reach out to samwashington@civilrightscorps.org with questions or comments. If you’d like to suggest a grant, please fill out this form

 

Insights from Grant Recipients
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Evidence on Investments in Financial Security and Employment

Financial security is another critical component of safety—not only because financial security and employment opportunities help people address their basic needs, but also because these investments have been shown to increase safety. One study showed that emergency financial assistance for those experiencing economic insecurity reduced total arrests, including a 51 percent reduction in arrests for violent crimes. Short-term financial assistance has been shown to decrease violence and crime. And decreasing unemployment has been shown to reduce property crime. Offering workforce development for industry-based credentials in locally growing fields (such as health care, manufacturing, and IT) reduced the likelihood that program participants with prior criminal records would be rearrested by about 40 percent. 

A study of data in both the US And UK found that increasing the availability of well-paid entry-level jobs when a young person is entering the job market could have a lasting impact on their likelihood of committing future crimes. Increasing youth employment, such as through summer jobs programs, has been found to reduce violent crime by up to 43 percent—with long-lasting, positive effects.  Unemployment insurance (UI) provides a crucial safety net that promotes household well-being, and generous UI benefits may lower local property and violent crime rates. UI may also minimize adverse contact between the unemployed and the criminal-legal system, including by decreasing the likelihood of arrest and any corresponding inability to afford court imposed fines and fees following conviction. However, the benefits of our nation’s patchwork of unemployment insurance programs are distributed unequally, with Black workers 24 percent less likely to receive unemployment insurance than their white counterparts over the last 30 years.

It is common sense that improving economic conditions will make communities safer—and this conclusion is born out in the research. Ensuring that individuals and families have the resources they need to thrive not only meets a safety goal in and of itself, but also has a dramatic impact on rates of violence and harm.