PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia today announced the second round of grants for community-based organizations offering services and supports to prevent and reduce gun violence.
More than 50 community groups received a combined total of approximately $1 million in funding. Programs being funded include both new and ongoing efforts in mentoring, career skill-building, sports leagues, and groups that connect returning citizens to their communities.
This second round of targeted Community Investment funding increases access to trauma-informed care for those affected by violence, expands grief support programming for impacted families, and provides training for young adults to become positive role models in their neighborhoods. The funding also directly supports workshops and “safe spaces” for young men who are at the highest risk of gun violence.
The grant application process, which opened in October, brought in more than 300 applications, from which 52 awardees were chosen. The individual grants, ranging from $1,500 to $20,000, will support programs in neighborhoods impacted by violent crime to help prevent or reduce shootings among youth and young adults living in these communities.
The awards— announced at the start of the Kenney Administration’s second term— are a key initiative of The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, and advance the Roadmap’s goals of creating Connected & Thriving Youth, Young Adults & Families; Strong Community Engagement & Partnerships; Coordinated City Services & Planning; and Safe & Healthier Neighborhoods.
“Often times, the potential solutions to gun violence are found directly within the communities traumatized by such violence in the first place,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “These grants support community-fueled grassroots programs striving to give young people, and others at risk of gun violence, positive social opportunities that can lead to prevention.”
During the selection process, preference was given to organizations focused on the educational and/or employment needs of individuals at a high risk of violence between the ages of 16 and 34. Those who applied were asked to give a description of the program or activity to be funded, along with an explanation of how it will help prevent gun violence in the community, a budget that clearly shows how the funds will be used, and how the success of the project will be measured.
“The Targeted Community Investment Grants are one of many important tools in the Roadmap toolkit that show we cannot simply solve this problem alone, and that City government needs our community partners to prevent and reduce violence,” said Vanessa Garrett-Harley, Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety. “These diverse programs represent both the inspiration and determination of our neighbors to make all of our communities safe and prosperous places for every resident.”
The following grantee biographies are organized by how their services fall into the following categories: Promoting Education and Mentorship, Addressing Health and Wellness, Job Training and Skill Building, and Sustaining Safer Neighborhoods.
*Note: Many of these organizations overlap with multiple categories based on their services and supports.
The first grant cycle of the Targeted Community Investment Grant Program in 2019 brought in 409 applications, from which 47 awardees were awarded grants totaling more than $700,000. The program is administered by the Urban Affairs Coalition with oversight by the Office of Violence Prevention. Awardees in many cases are collaborating with others in the community who are not included in this list.
The Targeted Community Investment Grant Program is among several anti-violence initiatives supported by the Roadmap, which recently received a boost in funding. In November 2019, the Kenney Administration transmitted to City Council legislation for a mid-year budget transfer of $3.88 million to the Managing Director’s Office to support the grants, as well as the enhancement of the Community Crisis Intervention Program and the implementation of Group Violence Intervention which focuses on repeat offenders and those pushing drugs. The funds also support the creation of Rapid Response Teams which mobilize immediate trauma support for communities that witness gun violence.