Harris County seeking microgrant proposals from community engagement organizations

The Justice Administration Department (JAD) is now seeking proposals from qualifying organizations for microgrants. The grants are meant to expand the capacity of organizations currently providing support to justice-involved individuals, youth, and survivors of crime by awarding them microgrants.

The purpose of the Community Engagement Microgrants is to aid in programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system, improve public safety in the county, and prevent crime in Harris County.

“It is vital that we, as a community, work together, through intervention, innovative methods, and programs to begin to improve public safety and address racial and ethnic disparities in our county,” said Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.” The County alone cannot bring about the change we need; we must work in partnership with community organizations toward our shared vision of a safer and healthier county for all of our residents.”

The Community Engagement Microgrants will strengthen the ability of organizations to deliver a community-based public safety response.

“Creating a criminal justice system that makes our neighborhoods safer for everyone requires innovation and input from every corner of our diverse community,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who chairs the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. “The microgrants will create the positive momentum needed to drive Harris County toward equitable solutions that enhance both safety and justice.”

Community Engagement Microgrants: Administered by JAD, this program will support community-based organizations doing innovative work to further the goals of Harris County’s participation in the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety + Justice Challenge (SJC).

The Community Engagement Microgrants will promote one or more of the following objectives:

1. preventing involvement in violent or criminal activity as either a perpetrator or victim among those who are at risk,

2. diverting youth or adults from formal system involvement at the pre-arrest, arrest or earliest stage possible,

3. reducing the risk of reentry or re-involvement in the criminal justice system and

4. contributing to community healing through restorative justice practices.

The Community Engagement Microgrants will provide funding to qualified organizations that assist with innovative, evidence-based, and promising model approaches to community engagement programs for the JAD.

The Community Engagement Microgrants recipient(s) shall provide all necessary labor and materials to assist JAD with engaging the community by supporting organizations that directly serve individuals who are justice-involved, implement preventative violence programming to at-risk populations, and/or support victims and community healing or restorative justice. The grant awards will cover a period from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021.

To learn more about the Community Engagement Microgrants, a pre-proposal conference is scheduled for October 20, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. CST. For more information, visit the Harris County Purchasing website. Attendance is optional, and organizations are encouraged to attend to have a better understanding of the requirements of the application process.

Application process: Proposals are due November 2, 2020, and applicants will be notified by January 2021 regarding whether they are receiving a grant. Projects will be completed by December 31, 2021. To learn more, visit Harris County Purchasing. Click on BuySpeed and register.