Five organizations to receive more than $2.2 million in funding; additional grant awards to be announced in coming weeks


PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia today announced the first round of the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program awardees. In July 2021, Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council announced a $22 million investment in Anti-Violence Community Partnership Grants. This is a major piece of the historic $155.7 million investment in a wide array of violence prevention programming and services that contribute to the City’s violence prevention and reduction goals.

To achieve and sustain a reduction in gun violence and improve the quality of life in communities most affected by gun violence, the City is investing in organizations with proven track records of delivering quality anti-violence interventions to help them expand and strengthen their efforts. A key step in this effort is the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants.

“As we continue to seek solutions to address the gun violence crisis in Philadelphia, the City is acting with urgency to invest in anti-violence initiatives that both address the immediate crisis and tackle the systemic, root causes of violence. These grant awards are a critical milestone in this strategy,” said Mayor Kenney. “I’m proud that—through our partnership with City Council—we’re investing directly in organizations that can help make our communities safer and save lives. We look forward to making additional awards in the coming weeks.”

“We’re glad to see this first round of grants as part of the community-based program to reduce gun violence which was created by City Council in June,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “We need a broad-based approach to reducing this unacceptable level of gun violence. We need law enforcement at every level, working collaboratively, and we need community-based groups who know their neighborhoods and know how to reach the individuals driving this cycle of violence. This is an important first step.”

“The level of gun violence we experienced in Philadelphia in 2020 and continues so far in 2021 is unacceptable,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (Second District), Chairman of Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. “Congratulations to the first five organizations to receive these grants with more winners to be announced in the coming weeks. The Anti-Violence Community Partnership Grants are part of a paradigm shift in how city government will fight gun violence and fund community groups dealing with the issue for years to come.”


Applications for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants, which opened on August 6, are being considered and awarded on a rolling basis. Below is a list of current awardees, and more awards will be announced in the coming weeks:

  • New Options More Opportunities (NoMo) — Grant Award: $1,000,000
    • NoMo will open its South Philadelphia Neighborhood Service location to expand our reach and community centered approach. NoMo will open an entry in adulthood housing to help combat youth homelessness. This housing program will provide rental assistance in a NoMo leased apartment building. Nomo will hire one Case Management Supervisor to support the growth of our participants and the services and resources they are provided. NoMo will also increase the number of youth participants served.
  • ManUpPHL — Grant Award: $242,768
    • ManUpPHL is a mentoring program that serves men between the ages of 18 and 35 who are among the most likely to be affected by gun violence. In their signature program, “Listening to the Streets,” a cohort of mentees participate in a series of listening sessions to explain street-level truth about gun violence—the causes, the effects, and the solutions. In eight sessions over a two-week period, ManUpPHL asks the hard questions, gets the real answers, and establishes a street-level agenda for saving lives. ManUpPHL will host two cohorts of six participants concurrently. Twelve participants every two weeks for a 20-week period. Each participant who successfully completes the program will receive a stipend of $240 at the end of two weeks and will be offered a job from a participating partner organization. There will be six on-site mentors hosting the cohorts.
  • Every Murder is Real (EMIR) — Grant Award: $760,001
    • EMIR will maintain or reduce the 72-hour outreach time period to families and friends of homicide victims, providing trauma-informed care, and advise them of the services available during this period of intense grief. EMIR will recruit, hire, and train four family/victims advocates; provide professional development in trauma-informed care, grief and loss, and complicated grief to four family/victims advocates; expand the depth and breadth of Family Advocacy Services to pre-pandemic levels, building relationships and accompanying families through the challenges they face in the aftermath of homicide; expand Support Groups to twice weekly (one in person, one online) with each of the four support group types (men, women, teen, children), and EMIR Healing Center will provide mental health and grief counseling services to the families utilizing other EMIR Healing Center services.
  • Beyond the Bars — Grant Award: $117,150
    • Beyond the Bars works to combat violence in Philadelphia by combatting several of its root causes, namely divestment and exposure to trauma. Beyond the Bars began as a music program for youth who were incarcerated and tried as adults at PICC. Beyond the Bars believes that it is pivotal to have accessible musical spaces within youth’s community that engage them within their interests and connect them to a larger supportive community. As a result, Beyond the Bars has worked to build over 11 musical labs throughout Philadelphia. Beyond the Bars will build eight full recording studios and run programs while training student leaders in neighborhoods affected by gun violence, as well as additionally fund a mobile recording studio that will engage youth who have experienced or witnessed violence.
  • Uplift Workforce Solutions — Grant Award: $150,000
    • The Uplift Workforce Solutions program is designed to provide formerly incarcerated and otherwise justice involved individuals an opportunity to gain long-term employment through the remediation of negative thought patterns, poor decision making and unhealthy habits, and then directly place them into the workforce with one of their employment partners. By December 2022, UpLift Workforce Solutions will serve 300 justice involved individuals by giving them necessary life-skills and job training, placing them into a long-term employment position, and keeping them out of the system by standing by their side for three years post-graduation.

Total Grant Awards (as of October 14, 2021): $2,269,919

About the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program

The Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program directly funds and supports community-based organizations that are focused on reducing violence through trauma-informed healing and restorative practices and safe havens and mentorship.

The City provides grants ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000 to community-based organizations that have annual operating budgets below $15,000,000 and a proven track record working in neighborhoods vulnerable to gun violence. By targeting funding towards proven community-based organizations, the City is putting this money in the hands of organizations with a proven track record of delivering quality, culturally relevant services while making sure those applying already have the infrastructure in place to be successful.

The focus of the Community Expansion Grants is to provide direct trauma-informed healing and restorative practices or safe havens and mentorship programs. Funded projects supporting those focus areas must take place between fall 2021 and summer 2022.

The deadline for applications closed on September 17, 2021. Applications for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants are now being considered and awarded on a rolling basis. Additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks.