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Opportunity 4 Community

Like communities across the country, the City of Buffalo faces a significant level of hopelessness and insecurity among individuals aged 10-21, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing have heightened loneliness, while chronic stress from traumatic events like shootings and police brutality are normalized. Many young people, particularly from BIPOC communities that have been intentionally under-resourced, don't have access to the services needed to promote hopefulness, safety, and success.  

The Way Forward

Two young people sitting on the couch of a talk show across from the host
Black animated fist with the words youth power

Youth deserve a seat at the table to reimagine and transform the unjust systems and institutions they are left to inherit. VOICE organizers worked with Buffalo youth during the summer of 2023 to provide leadership development and a space for them to imagine solutions to the despire they face in their everyday lives. What came through in these conversations was the lack of community centers, spaces to connect and learn with other people their age, and receive support services. 

Policy Demand

The City of Buffalo should allocate $10 million to expand positive services for young people.

For the past few years, the city has invested under $3 million in youth programming annually, as opposed to enormous investments in policing and punishment. Youth services such as full-service community centers, tutoring, youth employment programs, and mental health care access are needed to build a safe community for all Buffalonians. $10 million in funding for youth programming should be adopted in the 2024-25 City of Buffalo budget.

Take Action

Lend your support to increase funding for Youth Services in the 2024-2025 City of Buffalo Budget by signing on to the petition. By doing so, you actively participate in advocating for investment in the future of our city to provide our youth with the resources they need to thrive.  

Organization Endorsements

  • Catholic Health

  • Fostering Greatness

  • Galactic Tribe

  • Lt. Col Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY

  • Project Mona’s House

  • NYS Charter School Association 

  • Partnership for the Public Good

  • Pax Christi NY

  • Polish Community Center of Buffalo, Inc.

  • RealTalk

  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst

  • VOICE Buffalo

Want to get Involved?

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Other Ways to Support

We can create safe communities for our youth with your support. Please join us in igniting change and creating the world our young people deserve!

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