Open City Advocates works with youth whom the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services has removed from their families. 100% are youth of color, most have been in the child welfare system, and all are at too high a risk for being jailed, harmed, or killed by street violence. Trapped and often lost in the system, they rarely receive the trauma-informed care and reentry services they deserve. Open City is their zealous advocate. Working with youth in the deepest end of the juvenile system, staff and mentor-advocates visit weekly, develop a relationship of trust and goals for reentry, and represent clients in disciplinary hearings. Open City also spearheads systemic reform efforts to end the revolving door of the juvenile and criminal legal systems, safeguard and expand due process protections, and encourage the individualized, trauma-responsive services that court-involved youth both need and deserve.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 7

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; We work specifically with youth re-entering the community from New Beginnings, most of whom live in Wards 7 and 8.

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

  • % of mentees who re-enroll in high school, GED classes, college, and/or vocational training after incarceration:   94%
  • % of mentees who obtain full or part-time employment after incarceration:   97%
  • Re-conviction rate after completing our program (compared to DC's rate of 31% for all youth returning from incarceration):   17%

Awards & Recognition

American University's Washington College of Law awarded our Co-Founders the 2010-2011 Peter M. Cicchino Award for Outstanding Advocacy in the Public Interest


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Open City Advocates is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About Spur Local

Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.

Spur Local looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to Spur Local to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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