The Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that it will award $6 million in 50% tax credits to 37 organizations throughout Missouri through the Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) during its 2022 cycle.
“Missouri nonprofits and other organizations play an important role in providing life-changing services to young people who need them most,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Whether assisting with shelter, nutrition, or life skills, our state’s nonprofits strengthen our communities every day. We’re proud to support their efforts through this program, which benefits countless lives across Missouri.”
YOP helps broaden and strengthen opportunities for positive development and participation in community life for youth. The program allows nonprofit organizations to leverage private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses and individuals making contributions to approved youth development or crime prevention projects. YOP funds a variety of project types, including degree completion, internships and apprenticeships, mentoring, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, counseling, and more.
“Vibrant and healthy communities broaden opportunities for all Missourians, especially our most vulnerable,” said Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “We’re glad to assist nonprofits and other entities that make positive differences for people statewide. The Youth Opportunities Program is a great way we’re able to support groups working hard for Missouri’s children, who truly are the future of our state and its economy.”
A total of up to $6 million are awarded through YOP annually, with projects limited to $200,000 in tax credits. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, education institutions, faith-based organizations, local governments, and businesses that meet program requirements. YOP is administered by the Division of Business and Community Solutions. The full list of 2022 YOP recipients is available here.
Testimonial from previous YOP recipient
Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home, a previous YOP recipient, serves more than 50 children in central Missouri each year. In August 2020, Coyote Hill opened its newest home in Harrisburg to serve children in foster care. That month, four siblings were brought into the home, ranging in age from 2 to 13. Since welcoming them, the children have flourished.
The oldest, now 14, came into foster care in shock and struggled with past trauma and neglect. This child was quiet, preferred to be alone, and had no healthy outlets for self-expression. In 2021, her community witnessed her incredible transformation. She is now active in her school, devoted to athletics, and engaged in extracurricular activities. She writes music and displays kindness, intelligence and generosity. She is excited for her future and plans to learn Korean, travel, and enroll in nursing school. She has made progress beyond what was predicted when she arrived at Coyote Hill a year prior.
This child’s opportunity was made possible through Coyote Hill’s foster home funded through YOP. For the home’s children, it is not only housing, but a home where they can feel safe, supported, and loved in spite of difficult backgrounds. DED team members are grateful to help create opportunities for foster children and many others through YOP.
For more information about the program, including upcoming application cycles, eligibility criteria, and frequently asked questions, visit the YOP webpage.