Youth Opportunity Grants

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Support For Young Adults Exiting the Foster Care System

The City of St. Petersburg has partnered with Ready for Life, Inc. to support young adults aging out of the foster care system. Nearly $1 million ($946,365) has been allocated with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to initiate Youth Opportunity Grants.

Youth Opportunity Grants is a pilot program focused on young adults aged 18-27 who are former foster youth, not engaged in formal aftercare services, and need additional support in their transition to adulthood from the foster care system. The program plans to provide monthly cash disbursements directly to the program participants, intended to be an economic floor, to supplement (rather than replace) existing income and safety net. Participants will receive $500 per month, for a total of 12 months.

Former foster youth face many barriers when transitioning into adulthood, experiencing high rates of homelessness, human trafficking, and significant mental health issues. These outcomes are further compounded by not having the resources and family support available to them that are becoming increasingly necessary for young people as the economy continues to change. Research shows that participants in other pilot demonstrations have shown increases in full-time employment, increased ability to pay unexpected expenses, and increased emotional well-being as a result of receiving these additional funds each month. St. Pete joins Gainesville as the only municipalities in Florida with a city government-led direct cash transfer program.

Next Steps

Applications for Youth Opportunity Grants are anticipated to open in late Summer 2024. Check this site for updates.

ARPA Funding

As of May 2021, $45 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds has been budgeted to continue the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to help drive an equitable recovery for residents most impacted by COVID-19. This project is supported by ARPA funds. More information about ARPA funding in St. Pete can be found at stpete.org/ARPA.