Today, MANY connects with more than 10,000 non-profit providers, funders, and researchers and provides comprehensive training and support to 3,000 of these organizations annually. We also have a deep connection with a membership of more than 200 active members in 49 states who collaboratively work with us to unearth innovation and replicable solutions to evolving community challenges. Together, we extend our reach to positively impact youth and young adults in high-risk environments and at-risk situations.
In 1988, a small group of interested providers joined together to become MANY. Driven by the needs of these providers, MANY developed a training and technical assistance program that identifies, cultivates, and effectively replicates evidence-based practices. This program has become a national model of excellence in improving outcomes for youth and young adults most at risk for victimization and delinquency.
Early on, MANY began to attract additional agencies and partners interested in the development of innovative alternatives for youth and families and in exploring new ways to provide high quality services. More than twenty-five years later, MANY is a national network designed to strengthen and coordinate resources and services for youth and families in high-risk situations.
In 1974, before MANY evolved, the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was passed through grassroots efforts of service providers along with the National Network for (Runaway and Homeless) Youth. The purpose of the Act was to protect minor offenders from being detained in adult jails or other correctional facilities. For years, these vulnerable youth were treated with a corrections approach.
By the early 1980’s a youth service system emerged that was different in many ways from its child welfare system counterparts. The goals of these services were crisis intervention, family reunification if possible, and the provision of other services that avoided placing these youth in state custody under the children welfare system or juvenile detention systems. The needs of these youth and families touch almost every other human service system (mental health, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, substance abuse, health, etc). A support system was required for coordination, training, best practice sharing, development of new technology, advocacy, and in particular, to maintain an inter-disciplinary dialogue that put the needs of young people first.