KC BEAT: New United Way grants to help local nonprofits led by people of color

The United Way of Greater Kansas City steps in to help non-profits that are primary ran by blacks.

Fox 4 News

Some of the Kansas City area’s smaller community programs could use a leg up.

That’s the mission behind the United Way of Greater Kansas City’s newest grant program, meant to help nonprofits led by people of color.

eaching your people to follow brighter paths isn’t easy or cheap. Community nonprofits like Transition Zone could use a few extra dollars. Transition Zone teaches kids from the urban core life skills.

The program targets young people from the city’s urban core basic skills, such as how to apply for work, how to obtain a drivers license and how to manage money. Those are skills many of the program’s participants may not be receiving from traditional sources.

“A lot of the youth we work with, they hear gunshots all the time around their house. They want other options,” Jackie Buycks, Transition Zone’s director, said. “It gets very frustrating trying to allocate funding.”

If Transition Zone is approved for funding, Buycks hopes to use it to enroll more participants in her group’s programming this summer, when kids will be on summer vacation. That program’s young participants receive a small stipend for attending.

The Kauffman Foundation is partnering with the United Way in this $2 million program. The United Way has no restrictions as to how recipients can use the money, according to spokesperson Kera Mashek, who said the nonprofit sees great value in helping these community groups toward their youth-building goals.

“These folks are connected to their community. They are their neighbors. They know these individuals. They’re in position to address some of these big issues. They just need a little help to get there,” Mashek said.

Buycks said her group also teaches teenager about the pitfalls of sex and human trafficking. The United Way said there’s no immediate deadline to apply. More information is posted on their website.


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