Our next Barrier Buster Grant opportunity will be available in February 2021!

O2L is committed to expanding access to high quality out-of-school time services to all families in Greater Houston, and we understand that many OST providers are challenged by everyday barriers that negatively impact programming attendance and retention, or youth engagement. To combat these barriers, O2L piloted Barrier Buster in Fall 2019 and will continue this grant opportunity. 

What is the Barrier Buster Request for Proposal?

The Barrier Buster Request for Proposal is an opportunity for O2L to expand its’ reach and support of out-of-school-time. This funding opportunity aims to target barriers which directly impact youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement within out-of-school time programs. OST providers can request up to $10,000 for the cycle in which they apply.

Who can apply?

Any free or fee-based OST provider with a 501c3 status (minimum of 2 years) and serving youth 5-18 years-old during out-of-school time hours. 

Public and charter schools running an OST program on their campus are eligible to apply for this grant. Schools are encouraged to work with their OST provider (if applicable) or their district’s grant department/ foundation. Contact Tiffany Echevarria at TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org for questions.

What are qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

OST providers face all kinds of barriers that impact their ability to program daily. Barriers include but are not limited to transportation, competing priorities, parent/youth buy-in, incentivizing youth voice, or community awareness of youth programs. Barriers are unique to each community and population of students served. OST providers are the experts of their communities and best understand their own challenging barrier(s). There is no one-size fits all, you tell us the barrier true to your program, your students, and your community! 

Please keep in mind, priority will be given to requests that use funds toward direct service.

Qualifying requests will:

Identify a clear barrier that is a recurring challenge for the OST provider during programming hours. (Funds should be directed to address barriers occurring prior to the end of high school graduation.)

Provide a clear rationale for how the barrier directly impacts youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement.

Describe how this barrier is unique to the program in the proposed community.

Provide a clear description for use of Barrier Buster funds requested to address the barrier(s) identified.

Requests should not exceed $10,000.

What are non-qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

Requests from for-profit OST providers.

Requests addressing programming after high school graduation.

Requests exceeding $10,000.

Notice: COVID-19 and Barrier Buster Requests

For COVID-19 related barriers, priority will be given to projects surrounding direct, future impact on programming attendance and retention, or youth engagement for out-of-school time programs; funds cannot be used to cover previous expenditures or losses.

What are the Requirements?

Application: Applicants must answer all application questions and submit a program budget. Applications must be submitted on e-Cimpact.

Project Budget: Please provide a minimum of one price quote for program purchases over $500. Project Budget should be specific and itemized:

Program Revenue (all associated donations, i.e. cash and in-kind)

Program Expenses (all items with associated costs; indicate which expenses will be paid for with O2L Barrier Buster funds.)

Supporting Documents: Applicants must also submit an IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter (minimum of 2-year status), the most recently completed IRS Form 990 Income Tax Return (filed within the last 3 years), and a signed copy of the Anti-Terrorism Patriot Act form (also found within the resource center on e-Cimpact).

What are the grantee requirements?

If awarded Barrier Buster funds, grantees are expected to complete the following:

Agree to, sign, and return the Service Provider Agreement via email to TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org by the due date assigned.

Use Barrier Buster funds in accordance with the Service Provider Agreement and set timeline.

Submit Barrier Buster Grantee Report by the due date assigned.

For question about the Barrier Buster process email Tiffany Echevarria (TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org) or Krystal Perez (KPerez@unitedwayhouston.org). For questions about e-Cimpact please email e-Cimpact@unitedwayhouston.org.