1889 Foundation today announced a $230,000 grant to the Johnstown Safe Haven Project, an initiative to offer safe, positive after-school and weekend activities for young people aged 6-25. Representative Jim Rigby initiated the conversation with a group of local nonprofits, including the YMCA, Coaches 4 Kids, Flood City Youth Fitness Academy, and 1st Summit Arena on the project.

“1889 Foundation supports innovative programs and initiatives that transform the overall health and wellness of our region,” said Susan Mann, president of 1889 Foundation. “This collaboration is a bold and exciting initiative that will strengthen our community by providing our young people with safe and wholesome activities.”

“A great deal of research indicates that investing in youth by providing positive activities during out of school time is an effective way to reduce violence and delinquency,” said Shawn Sebring, CEO of the Johnstown YMCA. “Many of these programs are already being delivered by our organizations on a small scale – we have a solid foundation to build on. But thanks to 1889, we’ll be able to reach many more young people.”

The Johnstown Safe Haven Project will consist of age group-focused, overlapping programs for youth presented by several area non-profit organizations, as follows:

  • Ages 15-18, 18-25: Coaches 4 Kids – Saturday evening activities and learning
  • Age 11-14: Johnstown Community YMCA – Friday evening activities and learning
  • Age 11-25: 1st Summit Arena – tickets, programs, and events for all age groups, extending existing Friday and Saturday evening activities as well as presenting new ones
  • Age 6-18: Flood City Youth Fitness Academy – after-school tutoring and activities

The programs will be provided through the end of the current school year, and plans are currently being developed to extend them through summer 2022 and into the following school year.

Through the Johnstown Safe Haven Project, the partners expect to:

  • Provide positive role models
  • Encourage strong character development
  • Prevent substance abuse and provide mental health interventions
  • Provide opportunities for physical activity and quality in-person social interactions

All volunteers and staff will be trained in abuse prevention and safe practices by the YMCA.