Promise Zone Grants

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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May 17, 2018

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates: 

  • Grant Spotlight
  • Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities 
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

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Grant Spotlight 

Regional Solicitation Application for Federal Transportation Funds Opens May 14 

Projects support congestion relief, safety, transit advantages

Communities across the region can now apply for a portion of about $200 million in federal funds for local highway, bridge, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. Whether for existing infrastructure or new improvements, projects focus on outcomes like moving more people more effectively, managing congestion, and improving air quality.

The Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) leads the process of soliciting, evaluating, and selecting submitted projects, then sends those projects recommended for funding to the Council for agreement. Applications are due on July 13, 2018, and the TAB is tentatively scheduled to approve funding recommendations in mid-January of 2019.

Sign up for online application training

Council staff will conduct online application training at Council Offices at 390 Robert St. in Saint Paul in the Lower Level Room C Computer Lab. Please contact Elaine Koutsoukos, TAB Coordinator, to reserve your computer station for one of the following dates.

  • Wednesday, May 23, from 9:00-10:30 a.m. or 2:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 31, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. or 3:00-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 1, from 9:00-10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, June 7, from 9:00-10:30 a.m.

More Information 

Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities

The following content is for informational purposes only. For additional details on the opportunities below, and to find additional opportunities, please visit

Promise Zone Preference Points

If a discretionary funding opportunity indicates Promise Zone (PZ) preference points are available, please visit for additional information on forms and contacts to request preference point certification from the City of Minneapolis Promise Zone. Please submit your preference point request at least two weeks prior to the application deadline for Promise Zone certification approval consideration. 

If a funding opportunity does not indicate PZ preference points, you are still encouraged to contact the Promise Zone Manager, Julianne Leerssen (612-225-7721), about potential partnership opportunities to strengthen your application.


HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $17.2 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for individuals with low income. CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit individuals with low income to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and to ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period. CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects, however, short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature. OCS is encouraging applications from CDCs to target hurricane disaster areas, rural areas, and underserved areas: 21 states and territories that do not have active CED projects: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Island of Guam, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Oregon, Rhode Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming. Furthermore, OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program, underserved Communities Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program.

SBA: Small Business Administration

The Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999 (the PRIME Act) became law on November 12, 1999 with the passage of Pub. L. No. 106-102 (15 U.S.C. § 6901 note). The PRIME Act authorizes the SBA Administrator to establish a program for the purposes of: (i) providing training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; (ii) providing training and capacity building assistance to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) and programs; (iii) aiding in Research and development of best practices for microenterprise and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged entrepreneurs; and (iv) for other activities as the SBA Administrator determines. This year, SBA will give additional consideration to those applicants that (1) provide training and technical assistance to economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in rural areas; and (2) training and technical assistance to support entrepreneurship in HubZones.

Since its establishment in 1953, SBA has served to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses. While SBA is best known for its financial support of small businesses through its many lending programs, the Agency also plays a critical role in providing funding to organizations that deliver training and technical assistance to small business concerns and nascent entrepreneurs to promote growth, expansion, innovation, increased productivity and management improvement.


NEA: National Endowment for the Arts

An organization may submit only one application through one of the following FY 2019 categories: Art Works or Challenge America. If an organization applies to the Challenge America category, it may not submit another application to the Art Works category. The Arts Endowment's support of a project may start on or after June 1, 2019. Generally, a period of performance of up to two years is allowed. Program Description Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts’ principal grants program. Through project-based funding, we support public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.


DOE: Department of Energy

Golden Field Office

DE-FOA-0001824: Building America Industry Partnerships and Research Priorities for High Performance Housing Innovation - 2018 The mission of BTO’s Residential Buildings Integration (RBI) Program is to accelerate energy performance improvements in existing and new residential buildings using an integrated building systems approach to achieve peak energy performance. The RBI Program’s market outcome goal is to reduce, by 2025, the energy used for space conditioning and water heating in single-family homes by 40% from 2010 levels. RBI’s focus on space conditioning and water heating offers the best opportunities for influencing residential energy use. With this FOA, RBI will select building science project teams in 2018 for the Building America Program to accelerate energy performance improvements in existing and new residential buildings using an integrated building systems approach, and achieve optimal home energy performance. These Building America teams will work with industry partners and real world homes to develop and validate technologies and practices that achieve optimal energy and cost performance while effectively managing related risks (e.g., indoor air quality and moisture durability).


USAID: Agency for International Development

USAID’s Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment lays out a comprehensive commitment to leveling the playing field for women and men. Through this Addendum to the VISP APS, USAID seeks to address several of the known barriers to women’s economic empowerment and equality that growth-oriented women entrepreneurs tend to face. Among those barriers include: 1) underdeveloped leadership skills; 2) lack of access to tailored business advisory services; and 3) insufficient connection to networks that can help them grow their business, access credit and expand their markets.  This is aggravated by a further lack of advisors, role models, and business connections that can help fill the skills gap.   This activity is designed to expand the person-to-person advice and connections that women have identified as fundamental to growth and resilience.


USDA: Department of Agriculture

Office of Trade Programs

Purpose. The EMP assists U.S.  entities in  developing,  maintaining,  or expanding exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products by funding activities that enhance emerging markets’ food and rural business systems, including reducing trade barriers. The EMP is intended primarily to support export market development efforts of the private sector, but EMP resources may also be used to assist public  organizations.

Office of Trade Programs

Purpose: The QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural  commodities  by assisting

U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural  commodities.


ONDCP: Office of National Drug Control Policy

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President, is seeking applications from a non-profit entity as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code with expert knowledge and extensive experience in training drug court and other criminal justice practitioners on the application of evidence-based practices to address addiction among people involved in the criminal justice system.  

ONDCP’s Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Grant support training and technical assistance (TTA) that helps states, state courts, local courts, units of local government with drug courts or considering drug courts develop, maintain, and enhance alternatives to incarceration for individuals with addiction. The President’s priority is to enhance public safety by providing those who have engaged in criminal activity with greater opportunities to lead productive lives by addressing a range of issues, including mental health, vocational training, job creation, after-school programming, substance abuse, and mentoring through evidence-based rehabilitation programs.  ONDCP seeks to reduce drug use and its consequences through evidence-based practices, and this grant will apply these principles to the criminal justice system.

USDOJ: Department of Justice

Bureau of Justice Assistance

This solicitation presents competitive awards to create multidisciplinary teams to assess and address areas of risk for wrongful conviction and to review and assess post conviction claims of innocence. Applicants will lead collaborative teams of prosecutors, conviction integrity units and innocence programs to complete the work. The solicitation will also seek a training and technical assistance provider to provide support to selected projects through training and hands on technical assistance.

Office for Victims of Crime

OVC is seeking applicants to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended. Purpose Area 1 will fund victim service providers with a demonstrated history of providing comprehensive services to victims of human trafficking. Purpose Area 2 will fund victim service providers with a demonstrated history of providing comprehensive services to a sustained caseload of a large number of victims of human trafficking. Purpose Area 3 is designed to strengthen the capacity of victim service providers who have experience serving victims of human trafficking and/or related populations but who currently have a limited capacity to implement the comprehensive services model. OVC will conduct one pre-application webinar on May 24, 2018, from 1:00–2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at

Bureau of Justice Assistance

Widespread use of opioids has devastated many communities. In response to this epidemic, the FY 2018 Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program is designed to support our nation’s first responders and provide for the needs of crime victims; support diversion and alternatives to incarceration programs for non-violent individuals who come in contact with the justice system as a result of the abuse of illicit and prescription opioids; implement and enhance prescription drug monitoring programs; promote cross-system planning and coordination of service delivery; and reduce the incidence of fatal overdoses associated with opioid use. Effective responses must be comprehensive and address the needs of the individual who is abusing drugs, as well as any children and loved ones who may be experiencing trauma, violence, and victimization.

Bureau of Justice Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) seeks applications for the administration of the Federal Law Enforcement Agency Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (FDCRP), 2018-2021. The purposes of the FDCRP program is to (1) collect complete and accurate information on all federal arrest-related and detained or incarcerated deaths; (2) implement a consistent data collection program across all federal law enforcement agencies, and (3) increase efficiency and timeliness of data collection, analysis, and dissemination of findings. In addition, BJS is seeking assistance in updating and maintaining the FDCRP survey instruments as well as the federal law enforcement agency frame which includes agency contact information. With this solicitation, BJS seeks a data collection agent for the deaths that occur during fiscal years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Office for Victims of Crime

This project will be awarded as a cooperative agreement of $600,000 to an organization to provide financial and technical assistance to approximately 90 communities nationwide to conduct public education and awareness activities on crime victims' rights and services in their jurisdictions during the 2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW). The OVC Director will make all final decisions about which communities the intermediary will fund. Depending on grantee performance and funding availability, additional funding may be provided for the planning and execution of the 2019 NCVRW Community Awareness Projects (CAP).

Bureau of Justice Assistance

Second Chance Act programs are designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive and collaborative strategies that address the challenges posed by incarcerated adults re-entering their communities and the workforce, as well as recidivism reduction. Several years ago, BJA initiated a pilot project, the “Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies” project that sought to test an innovative approach to reduce recidivism and increase job readiness for offenders returning from incarceration and to integrate best practices in reentry and employment. Building upon the pilot project, the FY 2018 Adult Reentry and Employment Strategic Planning Program will provide funding for strategic planning grants to replicate the framework developed in the pilot project.

Office for Victims of Crime

OVC will award each eligible state victim compensation program an annual grant equal to 60 percent of the amount the program awarded in state-funded victim compensation payments during the fiscal year two years prior to the present fiscal year, other than amounts awarded for property damage. The primary purpose of these grants is to supplement state efforts to provide financial compensation to crime victims throughout the Nation for costs resulting from crime, and to encourage victim cooperation and participation in the criminal justice system. Funds under this program shall be used by the states for awards of compensation benefits to crime victims, with the following exception: states may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Apply by May 30, 2018.

Bureau of Justice Assistance

The purpose of the Capital Case Litigation Initiative (CCLI) is to assist states with: (1) enhancing the ability of prosecutors to effectively represent the public in state capital cases; (2) developing and implementing appropriate standards of practice and qualifications for state and local prosecutors who litigate capital cases; (3) minimizing the potential for error in the trial of capital cases; and (4) improving the quality of legal representation provided to indigent defendants in state capital cases. BJA achieves this purpose by funding national training and technical assistance (TTA) providers that work with states, prosecutors, and defense counsel in capital cases.


HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control - NCCDPHP

CDC announces the availability of fiscal year 2018 (FY18) funds to implement DP18-1813 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH). This 5-year initiative is to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease, specifically for African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska Natives, by: Supporting culturally tailored interventions to address the preventable health behaviors of tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity Linking community and clinical efforts to increase access to health care and preventive care programs at the community level Supporting implementation, evaluation and dissemination of practice- and evidence-based strategies on the four topic areas of tobacco, nutrition, physical activity, and community-clinical collaborations that ultimately lead to reduced health disparities in chronic conditions of hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity Funding will support recipients that: Have a history of successfully working with an established community coalition to address issues relating to health or other disparities. Select strategies that address the health disparities in the community based on results from a community health needs assessment process. Have organizational capacity to effectively, efficiently, and immediately implement locally tailored evidence- and practice-based strategies.

Administration for Children and Families - ACYF/CB

The purpose of this funding opportunity (FOA) announcement is to fund five-year demonstration projects that support the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that embrace proactive efforts to build on the strengths of families, including those at high risk for child maltreatment. The projects will enhance the capacity of communities to address the well-being needs of families before more formal strategies, practices, or activities are warranted. The FOA will address site specific barriers in order to reduce the number of referrals to the public child welfare agency. The cooperative agreements will fund activities that include the planning necessary to implement a multi-system collaborative to support community-based and prevention-focused services; the coordination of a network of community-based services to foster the development of a continuum of preventative services; maximize availability and access to resources using innovative approaches to leverage and coordinate existing funding streams; innovative outreach to identify and link families to community-based resources, empower families to support their children’s healthy social and emotional development; active participation with the designated evaluation Technical Assistance (TA) provider in a rigorous site-specific evaluation to improve processes and services, to demonstrate linkages between proposed strategies, practices, or activities, and improved outcomes; and conduct a local evaluation that analyzes the implementation and outcomes of the projects.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Cooperative Agreements (Short Title: MHTTC).  The purpose of this program is to establish one MHTTC National Coordinating Center, ten (10) MHTTC Regional Centers, one MHTTC Tribal Affairs Center, and one MHTTC Hispanic and Latino Center to develop and maintain a collaborative network to support resource development and dissemination, training and technical assistance, and workforce development to the field and CMHS grant recipients.  It is expected that MHTTC Cooperative Agreements will coordinate and manage CMHS’s national efforts to ensure that high-quality, effective mental health disorder treatment and recovery support services, and evidence-based practices are available for all individuals with mental disorders including, in particular, those with serious mental illness.

Centers for Disease Control - NCCDPHP

This NOFO will support the design, testing, and evaluation of novel approaches to address evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing risks, complications, and barriers to prevention and control of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in high-burden populations. Work will occur in state and local/city/county health departments with a population of 900,000 or more where significant reach may be achieved. Consortia of smaller local/city/county health departments may submit one application that, together, includes a population of 900,000 or more (using July 2012 U.S. Census estimates). High burden populations are those that data indicate are affected disproportionately by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or prediabetes due to socioeconomic or related factors. Category A includes diabetes management and type 2 diabetes prevention strategies. Category B includes CVD prevention and management strategies. Applicants may apply for Category A, Category B, or both via a single and clearly delineated application. In both categories, applicants will select from a menu of strategies, and should focus in areas where they have capacity to achieve greatest reach and impact. Applicants proposing to work in both categories should divide funds equally, and apply selected Category A and B strategies in the same populations/settings, so that work may be mutually reinforcing.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Expansion Grants (Short Title: CCBHC Expansion Grants).  The purpose of this program is to increase access to and improve the quality of community behavioral health services through the expansion of CCBHCs.  CCBHCs provide person- and family-centered services and are available in the 24 states that participated in the FY 2016 Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (SM-16-001). The CCBHC Expansion grant program must provide access to services for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) or substance use disorders (SUD), including opioid disorders; children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED); and individuals with co-occurring disorders (COD).  SAMHSA expects that this program will improve the behavioral health of individuals across the nation by providing comprehensive community-based mental and substance use disorder services; treatment of co-occurring disorders; advance the integration of behavioral health with physical health care; assimilate and utilize evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis, and promote improved access to high quality care. 

National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications to improve health outcomes for women, infants and children, by stimulating interdisciplinary research focused on maternal nutrition and pre-pregnancy obesity. Maternal health significantly impacts not only the mother but also the intrauterine environment, and subsequently fetal development and the health of the newborn.

When children are placed in out-of-home care (also called foster care), it is important that child welfare agencies find safe, permanent homes for them as quickly as possible. In many circumstances, children can be reunited with their families, but in some cases, children find homes with relatives or adoptive families. Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) have consistently found that many child welfare systems need to improve their adoption work, as evidenced by their difficulty in achieving substantial conformity on permanency outcomes. These shortcomings include failure to make concerted efforts towards timely permanency for adoption and preserving family connections; inadequate engagement of parents, children and youth in case planning; limited and ineffective service provision; insufficient frequency and duration of child visitations/parenting time; punitive uses of visitation/parenting time; delays in establishing the goal of adoption; a lack of meaningful concurrent planning; and lengthy appeal processes for contested termination of parental rights. These permanency outcomes relate to basic social work, legal, and judicial practices that impact adoption outcomes and also have effects on the safety and well-being of children in care. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to award up to five 5-year cooperative agreements for the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that focus on better adoption outcomes by improving basic social work, legal, and judicial practice in order to eliminate systemic barriers to: adoption; preventing entry into foster care; and other forms of permanency. Due to the intersection of permanency, safety, and well-being, an effective system reform effort focused on improving adoption outcomes by improving concurrent planning and reducing time to permanency will also require attention to safety and well-being outcomes. Therefore, through these grant awards, the Children’s Bureau (CB) aims to support states with resources to implement and sustain child welfare system improvement efforts, including technical assistance support, in order to assist grantees in strengthening outcomes related to permanency, safety, and well-being. Applicants are required to use CFSR findings, Program Improvement Plans (PIPs), Child and Family Services Plans, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review, Annual Progress and Services Reports, and Court Improvement Program (CIP) Plans and CIP Self-Assessments to identify barriers, challenges, and potential solutions to: supporting placement of children in kinship care arrangements, preadoptive, or adoptive homes; permanency planning and achievement; ensuring child safety; enhanced engagement with and service delivery to children and families, including fathers; enhancing case planning; and/or maintaining family relationships and connections. During the project period, grantees will address these barriers and challenges through the development, implementation, and evaluation of intervention strategies that focus on improving basic child welfare practice, that help ensure family-focused approaches, meaningful engagement, high quality legal representation, and CFSR systemic factors. Applicants will be required to partner with the Administrative Office of the Courts, CIP, local courts, and other systems that are involved with state or county-level child welfare initiatives and must demonstrate buy-in from appropriate leadership.

DOD: Department of Defense

Dept. of the Army -- USAMRAA

The FY18 TBDRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award (IIRA) intends to support highly rigorous, high-impact studies that have the potential to make important contributions to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research, patient care, and/or quality of life. This award mechanism promotes a wide range of research from basic through translational, including preclinical studies in animal models or human subjects, as well as correlative studies associated with an existing clinical trial to establish proof-of-principle for further development in future studies. Applications should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale that is established through logical reasoning, preliminary data, and critical review and analysis of the literature.

Dept. of the Army -- USAMRAA

The FY18 TBDRP Idea Award (IA) intends to support conceptually innovative, high- risk/potentially high-reward research in the early stages of development that could lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate progress in improving outcomes for individuals affected by Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne illnesses. This award mechanism promotes new ideas that represent innovative approaches to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research and have the potential to make an important contribution toward the TBDRP mission. Applications should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale that is established through inferential reasoning and/or critical review and analysis of the literature.


EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants for projects that develop or refine state/tribal/local government wetland programs as a whole, or individual components of those programs. Proposals for projects submitted under this announcement for Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) must address the National Priority Area identified in Section I.B of the announcement.


ED: Department of Education

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About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Promise Zones are federally designated, high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and leverage private investment. The Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) plan is a comprehensive, community-driven revitalization strategy that builds on and aligns numerous initiatives to address the persistent unemployment, crime, housing blight, and poor educational outcomes that affect that area.

Contact information: Juli Leerssen, (612) 225-7721

For more information, please visit

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For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Jennifer Melin at or by phone: 612-597-3406. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. 

TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

"Welcome to North Minneapolis" mural by youth artists from Juxtaposition Arts and TATS CRU