Please contact your General Assembly State Reps and ask for AS220 Youth’s DCYF funding to be reinstated!
Effective Jan 1, 2020, the RI Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) informed AS220 that — due to DCYF departmental budget overruns — they would not be renewing AS220 Youth’s two contracts with the department, totaling $74,276 annually.
These funds are critical to AS220 Youth: they allow the program to directly support DCYF-involved young people at the Downtown Studio at Empire Street. These funds also support our Apprentice program that helps us provide paid apprenticeships to young people from around the state.
You can read more about the background to the cuts and their impact in the attached letter to the RI House of Representatives Committee on Finance. The last page of the PDF also includes powerful testimonials from current and former DCYF-involved Youth members about the impact AS220 Youth has had on their lives.
The attached infographic flyer gives you some more basic information about AS220 Youth’s work.
WE NEED YOU TO ADVOCATE FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE! Follow these steps to contact your Representative:
- Use THIS LINK to look up your address to find your “Representative in General Assembly“.
- After finding your Rep’s name, use THIS LINK to find their email address (on the right hand side of the page there’s a box titled “Representatives” – scroll to find your Rep’s name and click the link).
- If you live in — or have family or friends that live in — any of these locations, please forward this email to them and ask them to advocate too!: Middletown/Newport, the Elmwood area, Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick, Cumberland, East Providence, Portsmouth/Tiverton, Central Falls, Johnston, Woonsocket, or North Providence
- Email your General Assembly Rep! You can write your own message or copy and paste the below into an email to your State Rep:
Dear Rep [insert relevant name here],
Please advocate for the reinstatement of AS220 Youth’s DCYF funding!
On January 1, 2020, the RI Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) cut funding that supports AS220 Youth’s Downtown Studio on Empire Street — totalling $74,276 annually — due to DCYF’s departmental budget overruns.
AS220 Youth’s Downtown Studio operates as an important transitional and diversionary program for youth, and enrolls over 200 young people per year. The Studio provides vital arts education, mentoring, workforce development and peer-to-peer leadership opportunities for at- and beyond-risk* youth (*risk of: involvement with DCYF or the juvenile justice system, recidivism, disconnection from school or employment, homelessness, violence, substance abuse, etc). 22% of Downtown Studio members are known to be DCYF or juvenile justice-involved.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[sign off with your name and — if comfortable — list your street address so they know you’re a constituent]
We are SO GRATEFUL in advance for your help! Any questions, please just reach out.