The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $50,000 grant to the Tlingit-Haida Central Council to start a Native youth delinquency prevention program.
The department announced the award last week as part of $42.9 million distributed nationwide to organizations that provide services through soup kitchens, homeless shelters, drug treatment centers and job training programs. Faith-based and community-based organizations will receive the federal funding from the Compassion Capital Fund, which is in its third year of existence.
"The Compassion Capital Fund provides local and faith-based groups with important resources to help those most in need," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said in a prepared statement. "By further empowering organizations to perform works of mercy in their neighborhoods, we are continuing the goal of putting compassion in action."
Tlingit-Haida Central Council of Juneau is an organization that serves Native youth and their families whose personal circumstances have placed them at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Central Council officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment on the grant.
The central council received the one-year grant under the Compassion Capital Fund Targeted Capacity Building Program. That money will be disbursed to 100 organizations that work on priority issues such as at-risk youth, homelessness, healthy marriages and serving people in rural communities.
Central Council was picked for the grant money to help develop its Native Youth Leadership and Delinquency Prevention Program, department spokesman Steve Barbour said.
The program will target Native youth at risk for delinquency, academic failure, substance abuse and involvement with the juvenile justice system. It also will focus on the development of a youth justice model which provides alternate sanctions and restitution for youth delinquency.
"The grants we are announcing today give what President Bush calls the 'armies of compassion' the resources they need to serve the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the addicted," said Wade Horn, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for children and families.