YouthZone, Family Visitor Programs receive nearly $51K in grants

Staff Report

Two Garfield County nonprofit agencies that help youngsters will receive $50,700 in grants under Gov. Bill Owens’ 2004 budget plan.

The Family Visitor Programs received $30,700 to serve young mothers and families with advice about child-rearing to give children a good start in life and prevent child abuse or neglect.

Youth Zone received $20,000 for its court intervention program, which provides youth offenders with assessment, case management and support while offering their parents parenting classes, support and training.

When Owens unveiled his 2004 budget proposal Oct. 28, he announced that 105 youth programs statewide will receive grants totaling $4 million. The funds will help support organizations that serve high-risk youth and their families, and which had been recommended for funding under the Tony Grampsas Youth Services program.

Funding for many of these programs was cut in the past two years as the state government dealt with budget shortfalls.

“The late Tony Grampsas envisioned this as a way to lead high-risk youth away from gangs and a life of crime and violence,” Owens said.

The $4 million is from one-time federal funds coming to Colorado through President Bush’s 2003 Jobs and Growth Act. The grants support a variety of youth intervention and mentoring programs, as well as providing support for their families.

“The governor came through on his promises and deserves our thanks,” said Sandy Swanson, executive director of Family Visitor Programs.

“We won’t need to build more prisons if we can keep today’s kids on the right path,” Swanson said.

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