Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $500,000)
With over twenty years of experience designing and implementing programs that support our community’s at-risk population, PVJOBS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is well-positioned to operate the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Multi-state Mentoring Program initiative. PVJOBS proposes to implement Youth Start, a youth development strategy that combines mentoring, construction skills building and trauma informed care to create the optimal environment for youth to start healing from past trauma, learning new transferrable skills and thriving in their communities. Youth Start identifies and reduces chronic and emerging risk factors that lead to juvenile delinquency by surrounding at-risk and high-risk youth with protective factors that support education, employment, and personal success.
Youth Start will recruit and enroll 50 youth, ages 17 and under who are at-risk or high-risk for juvenile delinquency or juvenile justice system involvement. Youth Start will recruit and screen 50 mentors from construction union trades to match with mentee in one-on-one mentoring.
Of the 253 census tracts that make up the Youth Start service area, there are 180 tracts with a poverty rate of more than 25% and 18 tracts with a poverty rate of 50% or higher, with 5 opportunity zone tracts. The overall poverty rate of Youth Start’s service area is 33% and encompasses some of Los Angeles’ most economically challenged neighborhoods, including South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, and Lennox.
Youth Start’s service delivery model is infused with a mix of effective mentoring approaches, practices and enhancements that align with research and evidence on reducing juvenile delinquency. Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and skills-building are added to the mentoring experience to increase participation and retention of mentors and mentees, while accomplishing our goal of creating an environment for at-risk and high-risk youth to heal, learn and thrive.