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Safe Passages and Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority Government and Community Working Together for Healthy Kids. Safe Passages Background. Founded in 1996 as part of a national Urban Health Initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Safe Passages and

Youth Ventures

Joint Powers Authority

Government and Community Working Together for Healthy Kids

safe passages background
Safe Passages Background
  • Founded in 1996 as part of a national Urban Health Initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • Established in Oakland as a program of the East Bay Community Foundation.
  • In 2004, the new Executive Director charged with developing a sustainable organizational infrastructure for the initiative beyond the RWJF investment.
  • Today, the multi-jurisdictional organization exists as a Joint Powers Authority with a non-profit arm - Safe Passages (501)(c)(3) and Youth Ventures JPA, an independent governmental body of local public systems covering Oakland and Alameda County
  • Youth Ventures JPA is committed to advocating for children, youth and families with a special emphasis on vulnerable populations.
  • R&D of Public Systems: It is an initiative that researches, develops, implements, and evaluates prevention and intervention strategies for children and youth.

Institutionalizing Cross Jurisdictional Functions

Policy Development and


Design & Incubation


San Lorenzo

Unified School


County of


City of


Oakland Unified

School District

Research and Evaluation


Resource Development

County of Alameda

Supervisor Keith Carson

Supervisor Nate Miley

Susan Muranishi, County Administrator

Dave Kears, Assistant to County Administrator and Former Director of Health and Human Services Agency

Alex Briscoe, Director of Health Care Services Agency

Lori Jones, Director of Social Services Agency

David Muhammad, Chief of Probation

City of Oakland

Mayor Jean Quan

Councilmember Jane Brunner

Councilmember Nancy Nadel

Anthony Batts, Chief of Police

Andrea Youngdahl, Director of the Department of Human Services

Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority

Board of Trustees

  • OUSD
  • Bd. Member Alice Spearman
  • Bd. Member Jody London
  • Bd. Member Gary Yee
  • Dr. Anthony Smith, Superintendent
  • Maria Santos, Deputy Superintendent
  • San Lorenzo USD
  • Dr. Dennis D. Byas, Superintendent,
  • Dr. Ammar Saheli, Director of Student Support Services
safe passages background1
Safe Passages Background
  • In 2004, Safe Passages staff directed to review organizational structures:
  • Unincorporated Association Under a Fiscal Agent
  • University Affiliate
  • Incorporate as Independent 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit
  • Chatham Savannah Youth Futures Authority Model
  • Joint Powers Authority
  • After much deliberation, the Board requested that staff focus on two governmental structures: Joint Powers Authority and State Legislated Special Authority.
organizational structure research
Organizational Structure Research
  • The extensive research established that a JPA structure would:
  • Provide for a neutral, quasi-governmental entity for partnership among several public institutions;
  • Institutionalize the unique public partnership built over the last ten years;
  • Maintain local control;
  • Allow for maximization of fiscal leveraging of external sources. A JPA is eligible to apply for many federal and state grants for which non-profits are not. A JPA demonstrates an innovative approach to a wide range of potential funders; and
  • A JPA would best support expansion of efforts within Oakland and Alameda County.
  • Board approved the Joint Powers Authority as the preferred structure for continuing and institutionalizing the expanded work of Safe Passages on October 17, 2005.
creation of 501 c 3 organization
Creation of 501(c)(3) Organization
  • A 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of the JPA would provide important development opportunities to the new entity.
  • Foundation support, for example, would be facilitated through this arm.
  • The combination of a JPA and a 501(c)(3) would establish maximum development opportunity.
  • It was therefore, decided by the Board that the JPA would have a non-profit arm and the two organizations would work in tandem.
mission and core principles
Mission and Core Principles
  • The Mission of the JPA shall be to advocate for children, youth and families in Alameda County with a special emphasis on vulnerable populations. The JPA shall operate in accordance with core principles intended to support and implement this mission. These core principles include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Creation and institutionalization of inter-agency and intra-agency support systems and strategies
  • Data-driven, collaborative decision-making;
  • Protection of individual privacy and confidentiality;
  • Resource development, expansion, leveraging and pooling;
  • Mutual responsibility for meaningful outcomes;
  • Joint credit for success;
  • Promotion of best practices.
chronology of legislative legal process
Chronology of Legislative/Legal Process
  • March 2006 The 501c3 Safe Passages is legally incorporated.
  • July 2006 The Oakland City Council adopts the JPA Agreement
  • September 2006 The Alameda County Board of Supervisors adopts the Agreement
  • December 2006 The State Administrator and the OUSD Board adopts the JPA Agreement.
  • September 2007 JPA Board of Trustees is seated
  • September 2007 The Board of Trustees grants admission to the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

Addressing the Root Causes of Violence

Early Childhood Initiative

School-Linked Services Initiative

(Middle School Strategy)

Juvenile Justice Initiative



  • Prior to Safe Passages . . .
  • No coordinated means of identifying and helping children exposed to community violence.
  • Today:
  • Childcare centers, service providers, and over 800 police officers trained to identify and refer in Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro and Sheriff force.
  • Mental Health Consultations for teachers and families in childcare centers
  • Citywide referral network for children exposed to violence (Safe Start)


  • Teachers rated children as showing reduced anger and aggression, and reduced anxious and withdrawn behavior,
  • Teachers also stated that children’s pro-social behavior had improved significantly compared to before the program.

Middle School Strategy

Goals and Components

  • Improve School Climate and
  • reduce the number of suspensions
  • Violence prevention curriculum,
  • Site-based service coordination,
  • Case management,
  • School-based mental health counseling,
  • Parental engagement,
  • Alternatives to suspension,
  • 7) After-school programs.
school linked services accomplishments
In 1998, under the UHI, Safe Passages Middle School Strategy established the benchmark goal of reducing suspensions for violence 30% by 2005 at targeted middle schools.

The number of violent suspensions has decreased by 72%: 200% of goal met.

90% of the middle school population (9,300 students) are taught violent prevention/social skills curriculum.

The Middle School Strategy reached city-wide scale and has been sustained with local resources for past 6 years.

Students no longer have to be labeled “special ed” to qualify for mental health services.

middle school strategy accomplishments

SP: From 48% to 39% suspension rate – a 19% decrease in overall suspension rate

Non SP: from 28% to 40% suspension rate – a 43% increase in overall suspension rate


In 2007, Safe Passages became the lead entity for The Atlantic Philanthropies Elev8 Initiative – an integrated services in schools initiative being implemented in four sites across the country

  • Safe Passages leveraged the $15 Million grant from the foundation with another $23 Million from local public systems in Oakland.

OAKLAND’S VISIONAccess to educational opportunity, health services and family support should not be dictated by race or socio-economic status. Healthy and supported young people are better prepared to learn and succeed.




Prior to Safe Passages . . .

No court ordered diversion program or police diversion program


  • Initiative has brought county probation, the courts, law enforcement and service providers together to implement case management programs as alternatives to incarceration.
  • Partners developed Project First, for first time offenders, and OPD 1st Diversion Program for youth.
2008 09 accomplishments

In 2008-09, Safe Passages leveraged $475,000 in partner dues into $16.8 million in funded services for Oakland’s children and families.

That’s a return on investment of 3437%:

Over $34 dollars of services returned for each $1 invested in Safe Passages’ systems change work!

sustainable public investment
  • City: Department of Human Services, police department, voter approved measures -- $544,000
  • School District: General Fund, School Site Budgets, LEA MediCal -- $3.65 million
  • County: EPSDT Medical Expansion, EPSDT/MediCal, Tobacco Settlement -- $1.28 million
  • State Funds: ASES After School dollars -- $364,000
  • Federal Funds: US Dept. Health and Human Services, US Dept. of Justice -- $309,000
  • Targeted Local Construction Bonds: Oakland Unified School District -- $6.67 million

Leveraging Sustainable Funds


State Supplemental Instruction, TIIG, Prop. 49, Family Pact, Tobacco Master Settlement, AB3632, Prop 63, General Fund, Family Planning Funds, Denti-Cal

Local (City, County & OUSD)

OFCY, Measure Y, Oakland Community Action Partnership, City General Fund, Workforce dollars – Oakland Police Department, Alameda County Social Services Agency, school site budgets, Williams Act, Measure E, Measure B, AB825, adult education ADA


Title I, Title IX, Title IV, Supplemental Education Services, EPSDT, Medi-Cal, Title X (OFP), VOC, Healthy Smiles, MCH-Federal Financial Participation, 21st Century


Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority a successful inter-governmental infrastructure from which to platform city and county wide initiatives.