The Lead

Wolf, Philadelphia lawmakers announce more than $100M for violence prevention grants

By: - September 8, 2022 4:51 pm

Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his final budget address to a joint session of the state House and Senate on Tuesday, 2/8/22 (Commonwealth Media Services photo).

At a Philadelphia playground in a neighborhood marred by gun violence, Gov. Tom Wolf announced more than $100 million in funding for two grant programs to fund efforts to prevent violence before it begins. 

The grants are part of a record funding package for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which will administer the programs.

“The community groups working tirelessly to combat violence told us they needed more resources: we heard them and are answering those calls,” Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, noting that funding for such initiatives has gone from zero to the present level in only 18 months. “We cannot wait to see the life-changing work these groups are able to accomplish.”

Joined by Philadelphia lawmakers and advocates focused on preventing gun violence, Wolf on Wednesday highlighted that his administration has made $355 million available to fight violent crime.

“Pennsylvanians deserve to live their lives without gun violence-induced fear. With continued creativity, investments and partnerships, safer communities are within reach,” Wolf said in a statement. 

This year’s budget included $85.5 million for the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program that provides funding for community organizations, municipalities, institutions of higher education and district attorneys to address community violence and undertake prevention efforts. 

Grants under the VIP program can range from $25,000 to $2.5 million to support projects over the next 29 months. Applications may be submitted until Oct. 12, 2022.

The Coordinated Community Violence Intervention Strategies Pilot Program will make $15 million available to invest in collaborative community violence prevention and response strategies. The new initiative will support five to eight projects and applicants can request up to $3 million. Applications may be submitted until Oct. 31. 

Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Philadelphia, who chairs the the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said it has worked with its leadership and Wolf to make the investments because they are proven to reduce the real costs of gun violence.

Rep. Amen Brown, D-Philadelphia, said lawmakers have to do their part to end the suffering and deaths of young people due to senseless violence.

“We can only do that by ensuring gun violence prevention programs are accessible to youth to show them that they have options and do not have to be a statistic. Prevention starts at home, right here in our own backyards,” Brown said.

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Peter Hall
Peter Hall

Peter Hall has been a journalist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for more than 20 years, most recently covering criminal justice and legal affairs for The Morning Call in Allentown. His career at local newspapers and legal business publications has taken him from school board meetings to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and many points of interest between. He earned a degree in journalism from Susquehanna University.