PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia has been named the recipient of a $500,000 state grant to expand the Community Crisis Intervention Program (CCIP) in Philadelphia neighborhoods most prone to violence.
The award comes from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s 2018 Gun Violence Reduction Initiative grant. Through the expansion of CCIP, the City’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) plans to achieve a five-percent Citywide reduction in gun homicides and shootings within the first twelve months of the project. The grant will also provide direct funding to several community-based organizations to help meet the needs of young men most at risk for gun violence.
The funding will allow OVP, in partnership with the Philadelphia Anti-Violence and Anti-Drug Network (PAAN) and several other key stakeholders, to hire one program specialist to oversee and manage the expansion. PAAN will hire five additional outreach workers to engage young men in some of the most violent areas in the City, and help connect them with needed supports, such as education and employment, as an alternative to gun violence.
“Gun violence is preventable, but in a City with more than a quarter of the population living in poverty, the needs for assistance often extend beyond the capacity of both the City and community groups,” said Mayor Kenney. “This grant will make a huge difference in our ongoing efforts, and I’m proud that we as a City are committing to a five percent reduction in homicides and shootings. That goal may seem modest, but I’m confident it will be achievable, and will be the start of even greater progress.”
“This grant is representative of the important work that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is doing throughout the entire Commonwealth,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Gun violence is a scourge that knows no boundaries in Pennsylvania. My Administration, along with our partners in the Legislature, are committed to addressing the root causes of this by funding innovative solutions like the Community Crisis Intervention Program.”
“Let’s be clear; gun violence continues to be a public health crisis not only in Philadelphia, but across the commonwealth. It remains in the same category as the opioid and heroin epidemic that’s plaguing our neighborhoods and families,” said state Rep. Jordan Harris. “It is important that grassroots groups have a seat at the table and receive resources such as this grant to combat and address gun violence. I would like to thank Governor Wolf and his administration for working with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to find the funding to move forward in the fight against this public health crisis. I also want to thank all members of the Black Caucus for standing with one voice and pushing Harrisburg to take a hard look at this issue of gun violence.”
“While the need for services and supports is great throughout the City, prioritizing at-risk young men for assistance is crucial,” said Vanessa Garrett Harley, Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. “For these men, education, employment and other resources are key to prevention. They are the components of a proven strategy to reduce the risk that someone will be either a perpetrator or victim of violence in the future. We are thankful for the support from the Governor and our partners in the legislature for this much-needed support.”
The City will further build its capacity to respond to the tremendous needs young men at risk of gun violence have through microgrants to several community-based organizations that offer high-quality services and supports proven to help young men escape a life of gun violence. Special emphasis will be placed on funding organizations that can meet the educational or employment needs of young men between the ages of 18 to 34. There will also be a preference given to organizations that demonstrate a willingness to serve the most at risk young men living in the Philadelphia communities most affected by gun violence.
By the end of the twelve months for this project period, in addition to the reductions in gun violence noted above, the City anticipates there will be a 20 percent uptick in the use of services and supports among young men 18 to 34 in the City. Additionally, this funding will augment existing General Fund dollars, increasing the number of outreach workers through the expansion of CCIP and the ability to fund more community-based organizations in FY 2019. This support will also help improve the coordination of services and supports in the City, and ensure resources are strategically provided to the individuals, and in the neighborhoods that account for much of the gun violence in Philadelphia.