City expands funding opportunities for anti-violence efforts

The Kenney Administration and Philadelphia City Council have announced the next step in a process to engage community organizations in a collaboration to prevent gun violence by issuing an application for groups to apply for funding from a $22 million appropriation approved by Council and the administration during the budget process in June.

The appropriation to fund more community organizations is part of a broader investment of $155.7 million by the Kenney administration and City Council in a wide array of programming and services that contribute to the City’s violence prevention and reduction goals.

“Through the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program, we’ve deepened our partnership with City Council and Philadelphia communities to address our city’s gun violence crisis,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Through this partnership, and with support of the Monitoring Group, we’ll invest in community-driven violence prevention work through funding and organizational supports, and help build on what’s working through evaluation and capacity building. This is an important piece of the City’s historic investment in violence prevention and a critical advancement of our violence prevention strategy, The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities. We are grateful to our partners in City Council for working closely with us to make it possible.”

In early August, Council leaders stood with Mayor Kenney outside City Hall and detailed the strategy to provide support and guidance to community groups applying for the anti-violence funding, including the creation of a Violence Prevention and Opportunity Monitoring Group. This Monitoring Group will include Councilmembers and administration officials with expertise in anti-violence programming.

“We appreciate the urgency with which our administration partners are moving with regards to the funding of community organizations focused on preventing gun violence,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “With the level of shootings and violence in too many of our neighborhoods, there is literally no time to waste. Council looks forward to participating in the monitoring process to ensure these community groups that best know their neighborhoods are engaged and supported to do this critically important work.”

“Council appreciates the Kenney administration’s willingness to work with Council and with neighborhood organizations that have been working to reduce gun violence in their communities for years,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), chair of Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. “We need boots on the ground that understand the dynamics of neighborhood violence as well as anyone. This work is a paradigm shift and we will make Philadelphia safer, by working together.” 

In addition to Johnson, the Councilmembers named to the Violence Prevention and Opportunity Monitoring Group are Cherelle L. Parker (Majority Leader), Curtis Jones Jr. (4th District), Cindy Bass (8th District) and Jamie Gauthier (3rd District).

The Kenney administration will staff the Monitoring Group with appointments from the Managing Director’s Office, Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Department of Public Health, Department of Commerce, Office of Children and Families, Department of Human Services, and Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services.

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. This will be done through a two-tiered approach:

About the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program

The Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program will directly fund and support organizations focused on reducing violence through trauma-informed healing, restorative practice, safe havens, and mentorship. Funded projects supporting those focus areas must take place between fall 2021 and summer 2022.

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

In addition to providing grants, the funds will be used to help selected organizations with capacity-building and scaling up their programs so that they can expand and enhance the impact of their important work.

Smaller organizations with smaller budgets will be supported and funded through an expansion of the existing Targeted Community Investment Grants initiative.

How organizations can apply for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program

The application is open and will close on Friday, September 3, 2021.

Because there is urgency to get these applications vetted and to provide resources to organizations as swiftly as possible, applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning on August 20, 2021.