Opportunities for Partnership

The following solicitations are currently open for submissions:

Solicitation #007 for a Harlem-based basketball program



Youth Justice Bid Solicitation

Youth Reentry Network

Solicitation #007

DOC Contract Pin #072201624SPP


Release Date August 18, 2017
Submission Deadline September 4, 2017, at 5 p.m.
Program Start Date October 2017
Subcontract Service Requested Basketball program


Community resources


Friends of Island Academy (Friends) is seeking a community-based partner to provide a basketball program for young people who have been involved in the justice system in New York City.

Friends of Island Academy was founded in 1990 at an alternative high school on Rikers Island—known then as Island Academy—to address the recidivism rates and disproportionate confinement of youth of color who attended school on Rikers Island. Today, Friends’ Advocates forge relationships with adolescents and young adults when they are admitted to custody and support them throughout their period of incarceration and after their release. We leverage strategic touchpoints along the criminal justice continuum to connect with youth and strive to keep them engaged long after that.

Though we engage a majority of the youth we serve when they are admitted to Rikers Island, a significant number of youth are referred by the Department of Probation, the Administration of Child Services (ACS), the courts, or peers already participating in Friends programming. The demographic characteristics of our population have changed little since we first began working on the school floors of Rikers. The vast majority of our youth members are primarily African American and Latino, between the ages of 16 to 21 and male. Girls and young women make up approximately 12% of our youth members, mirroring the jail population. Youth make up about 5% of the average daily population on Rikers but 100% of ours.

Our program headquarters are in Harlem, and we have community-based hubs in the Bronx and Brooklyn. These sites facilitate our Advocates’ efforts to connect youth with supports and resources that are rooted in their neighborhoods.


  1. Scope of Work

One partner provider will be awarded up to $35,000 to implement programming over a 12-month period in Harlem based on the scope outlined below. Proposed programs should focus on positive youth development through basketball, physical fitness, and teambuilding. Programs should be culturally responsive and engaging for young people who have recently been incarcerated or otherwise justice system-involved.

Programs should also include elements of mentoring and other community-based supports for participants. We are looking for facilitators who are connected to communities throughout New York City in meaningful ways and are able to leverage those connections for our young people.

The program will be delivered according to the following parameters:

  1. Every Friday, 3:30 to 6:30 pm;
  2. Located in a gym in the Oberia Dempsey Center in Harlem (127 West 127th Street);
  3. Approximately 10-15 participants per session; 16-24 years old;
  4. Program duration will be for a 12-month period;
  5. A program facilitator or other staff will be willing to be “on call” outside of program hours for a young person to reach out to them in case of emergency.


  1. Submission Guidelines and Requirements

The proposal submitted should include the following:

  1. Organization description: Include a description of the organization’s mission and history, population served, and relevant services provided. Indicate any prior experience providing services to adolescents and young adults who have been on Rikers Island, and demonstrate organizational experience and capacity to provide services to youth being released from Rikers Island. Preference will be given to organizations have a genuine connection to impacted communities.
  2. Program description: What services will the organization be able to provide to justice-involved youth? Give all details, including outline of services offered, times, and staffing.
  3. Goals and objectives: List measurable outcomes and indicate how the goals of the proposed services align with the mission of Friends of Island Academy.
  4. Budget: Submit a budget and budget narrative, detailing how the awarded funds will be spent.
  5. References: Please include a list of three professional references for the organization. These references should be from past projects or collaborations with third-party individuals or organizations. For each reference, please include the following: contact name, company name, street address, contact phone number, and contact email.
  6. Attach 501(c)3 letter or fiscal conduit.

Proposals are due on September 4, 2017, at 5 p.m. Selected parties will be notified no later than September 15, 2017, and program startup is expected in early October 2017. Proposals should be submitted via email to Gina Lee, at glee@friendsny.org.