Maysles Institute wants to improve its Community Producers Program (CPP), which serves 16–24 year old youth in Harlem and the South Bronx who have been previously involved in the justice system. CPP offers free arts education through storytelling, film production, and community engagement, and also provides participants with resume writing and job search assistance. Maysles does not currently have an adequate social service component to support its participants, many of whom have experienced significant trauma, including physical abuse, homelessness, and parental drug abuse. Because of this, staff have not been able to teach the entire CPP curriculum, as instructors are often compelled to spend program time addressing students’ personal needs rather than teaching and leading lessons. Maysles proposes to hire an on-site MSW caseworker to provide direct, continuous service to its participants and to train frontline staff to respond to student crises as they arise.
This grant will support training to help staff better respond to participants’ personal crises and mental health needs.