Monday, May 14, 2018
Sonya M. Lewis, 708-439-0326
Kimberly Rudd, 773-213-6325
$850,000 in grants to 132 organizations for Summer and Fall programs
CHICAGO — For the third year in a row, neighborhood organizations in Chicago working to reduce gun violence will receive grants to help reclaim parks, streets and public areas and build community cohesion. Last week, the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC) awarded 132 grants, totaling $850,000, to fund activities this summer and fall in 19 prioritized communities. Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000.
"With each application cycle, we grow more and more impressed and inspired by the proposals, and the earnestness and eagerness with which these organizations and community residents seek to serve and support their communities," says Deborah E. Bennett of Polk Bros. Foundation, who oversees the community grants review process for the Partnership.
Over 300 community groups applied for the grants Bennett said, adding, "They were all deserving and inspiring. The movement for a safe and peaceful Chicago is alive and well in our communities. These investments are just one part of a much larger effort to reduce gun violence."
Each of the prioritized communities will have activities funded for all age groups, starting after Memorial Day and concluding on or before Halloween. Stories of these activities will be featured on the Safe and Peaceful website and, at @safepeacefulchi, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Examples of activities funded include arts programs, mentoring programs, and marches for peace.
The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC) is a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations who have collectively committed more than $40 million dollars to support proven and promising responses to gun violence.
The community grants, which are technically awarded by The Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities, is one component of a comprehensive strategy that also includes direct interventions with young people at risk, police reforms that are helping rebuild trust with the community and strengthen law enforcement, and gun policy reform.
The community grants began in the summer of 2016 when gun violence in Chicago was spiking.In its first year, the Fund issued 72 grants totaling $500,000. Last year, the Fund issued 120 grants totaling $850,000.
If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.