In a deadly year, $3.6M in state grant money to aid Philly’s gun violence prevention efforts

House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, unveiled the beneficiaries

By: - December 6, 2021 11:03 am

By Brian Saunders

PHILADELPHIA — City and state leaders continue to invest millions of dollars towards local organizations to combat gun violence. The city has logged 513 homicides this year, according to the Philadelphia Police Department’s crime maps statistics database, the deadliest year on record.

To help combat that wave, Rep. Joanna McClinton  recently announced $3.66 million in grant funding would be dispersed across 13 local organizations.

McClinton, the House Democratic leader representing the 191st District, said, “these violence prevention grants are an important tool for our communities to support and expand safety initiatives, to protect families and neighborhoods, and to begin to reverse the epidemic of gun violence and its negative outcomes.”

The money comes from the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). In September, access to $24 million of grant funding was made available throughout Pennsylvania. Philadelphians had until Oct. 15 to apply for the funding.

Several government and local leaders have said that the fundamental problems leading to violence are a lack of resources, education and job and skill training. This mostly affects people of color. Of the 513 deaths, 368 or 83% were Black people.

ACHIEVEability is a nonprofit organization based in West Philadelphia that works to end the generational poverty cycle among minorities. The organization offers education, community and economic development, and affordable housing. They received $1,042,410 in funding from the grant initiative and planned to work with local minority business owners on an anti-violence program to engage youth in paid apprenticeships.

“We’ve watched too many of our neighbors have their lives tragically cut short to the gun violence epidemic,” said Jamila Harris-Morrison, executive director of ACHIEVEability. “This funding supports our collaboration with 60th Street corridor businesses to provide our young people with important resources — like food, training, and mentorship — and most importantly, a job. Together we are opening the door for opportunities and laying the groundwork for a safe and successful future.”

Many awardees offer trauma services or counseling for people impacted by gun violence, while others provide sports competitions to reach the youth and keep them off the street. Organizations like Hand2Paw are offering paid internship opportunities.

Other organizations that received big grant rewards like Youth Mentoring Partnership, which offers mentoring, including social-emotional learning programs for 11- to 19-year-olds, received $500,000 in funding. At least 31 people under the age of 18 have been killed this year by homicide. Youth Sentencing Reentry Project received $495,498 to help rehabilitate those who spent time in prison and advocate for them to become productive citizens after their reentry.

Here are all of the grantees and award amounts:

  • Community Solutions CDC, $332,500
  • Antioch Christian Fellowship, $150,000
  • Coalition of African and Caribbean Immigrants $50,000
  • Eddie’s House, $150,000
  • Hand2Paw, $150,000
  • Inner Strength Foundation, $250,000
  • Jarrell Christopher Seay Love and Laughter Foundation, $50,000
  • Neighborhood United Against Drugs, $50,000
  • Power of Paint Art Academy, $150,000
  • Resolve Philly, $240,000
  • We Love Philly, $50,000
  • Youth Mentoring Partnership, $500,000
  • Youth Sentencing Reentry Project, $495,498
  • ACHIEVEability, $1,042,410

Brian Saunders is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.

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