HARRISBURG – January 26, 2022 – Efforts to stem violence in the City of Philadelphia will receive nearly $15 million in new state funding, state Sen. Vincent Hughes announced today.
The grants, administered through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee, were among more than $23 million awarded at the committee’s meeting in Harrisburg today.
“We are grateful to the governor and his administration for their recognition that investments in violence prevention will pay off in communities that have struggled to cope with the pandemic and the resulting economic shock,” Hughes said. “The efforts that will receive this support range from well-known academic institutions to community level organizations that operate street by street and house by house. This round of funding will cover a lot of ground.”
Hughes, the Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman, worked with colleagues in the Senate, House Democratic Leadership and the Wolf Administration to appropriate $30 million in the 2021-22 state budget to stem the surge in violence across the state. By December, nearly $23 million of state funds were awarded to community groups and municipalities across the state to combat the increase in gun violence, but applications far outstripped the appropriated funds.
“These organizations listened to their neighbors, did their homework and brought their ideas forward in a way that impressed decision makers and I’m proud to have worked with them to make the case for a bigger investment,” Hughes said.
Hughes and Gov. Tom Wolf announced a week ago that the administration was adding $15 million in American Rescue Plan funds to the program, bringing he state’s fiscal year 2021-2022 investment to $45 million.
“We are not finished with this work,” Hughes said. “We know that progress will be made through steady effort and long-term commitment and, as we head into this next budget cycle, we will bring these voices together to call for that commitment.”
For detailed information the statewide grant winners, click here.
Philadelphia area organizations awarded grants today were:
African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) – $498,278
Requested funds to support the implementation of the “Safe Havens and Mentorship Program” a pilot violence intervention and prevention program for African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee (ACIR) boys and young men between the ages of 16-22 in the greater Philadelphia area. AFAHO will offer a safe-haven at its office location where 20 boys and young men from the ACIR communities will engage in academic tutoring and mentoring; counseling to build trust and understanding; life skills training; developing conflict resolution and de-escalation skills; how to function in a professional work environment and vocational training with tradesmen (general construction, auto mechanics, IT, and electrical) from the community who will serve as both mentors and teachers for their apprentices.
Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia – $1,371,489
Requested funds expand its Counseling Center (CC), Youth Violence Outreach Initiative (YVO), Victim/Witness Services (VWS) and administrative infrastructure to serve more Philadelphians in areas hardest hit by gun violence (Police Districts 12, 16, 18 and 19). Funds will support salaries and benefits for therapists, victim advocates, and other personnel; consultants; laptops for new staff; furniture for new staff; supplies; sound reducing panels; staff/client SEPTA travel passes and other transportation expenses (e.g., parking); and indirect costs.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) $1,119,262
The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) requested funds to support the continuation and expansion of its Hospital Based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP). CHOP’s violence intervention and trauma support services are comprised of three trauma-informed program interventions: intensive case management; mental health therapy; and peer-led psychoeducational peer groups. A portion of requested funding (“Maintenance Funding”) will allow VIP to continue to provide current services to youth and families in Philadelphia, and to evaluate those services with accuracy and rigor. The remainder of requested funding will increase VIP’s reach to a larger number of youth and families (“Expansion Funding”) through CHOP’s Philadelphia-based primary care practices.
City of Philadelphia – Managing Director’s Office $2,000,000
Requested funding to expand the City’s Group Violence Intervention (GVI) strategy, which employs law enforcement and social services to engage individuals at the “highest risk” of gun violence involvement. Funds would support costs associated with one Citywide Caseworker Supervisor and 12 Caseworkers deployed across the Southwest, South, Central, Northwest, and Northeast Divisions as well as the addition of a Law Enforcement Specialist position to enhance coordination and cooperation among law enforcement agencies. Funding would also support costs associated with transportation (leasing GVI MCIT vans) as well as the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy for GVI (full-time communications specialist) to provide a counter-messaging campaign to compete with the rising number of online disputes that lead to gun violence.
Concilio De Organizaciones Hispanas – El Concilio $475,000
Requested funding to support the implementation of Safe Haven services to 250 young adults (16-24 years old). Funds will support staffing a Program Coordinator and two Workforce Development Case Managers, and support personnel; cover a contracted Behavioral Health psychologist/therapist; incentives for 75 internships; operations (supplies, program materials, laptops/cellphones, facilities); and indirect costs. Concilio proposes to incorporate interventions in gun violence prevention that address economic inequities through workforce development training, support services, low social mobility through educational improvement (completion of high school, GED, collegiate or vocational studies), economic opportunities with work experiences and internships, behavioral support through trauma-informed intervention mental health for individuals and families and social services referral.
CORA Services Inc. $726,432
The Good Shepherd Mediation division of CORA Services will receive funds to actualize a two-tiered program that mitigates gun and group violence by empowering neighborhoods with high volumes of assaults to resolve conflicts using mediation, restorative justice, and community dialogue. The program will host a recurring six-month Restorative Justice course that prepares youth in these neighborhoods to become mediators, restorative justice facilitators, and community organizers while simultaneously providing the respective neighborhoods with Restorative Justice services. ;
The Education Culture Opportunities (ECO) Foundation $150,000
The Education Culture Opportunities (ECO) Foundation requested funding to support youth and young adult workforce development initiatives that train Energy Management Specialists (EMS) to work directly with school- aged youth in managing their emotions, actions, power, energy, and ultimately improving their conflict resolution skills. Trained EMS are young adults who intervene with the demographic of those that are most prone to gun violence involvement. Funds will support young adults to experience more meaningful and desirable workforce development opportunities. They will get on-the-job training, be fairly compensated at $18 an hour, and gain transferable skills for the current job market.
EducationWorks (PowerCorpsPHL) $2,000,000
PowerCorpsPHL (PCPHL), operated by EducationWorks, requested funding to provide innovative paid work experiences and supportive services that lead to career pathway jobs for young Black and Latinx Philadelphians who experience barriers to quality employment related to court involvement, lack of postsecondary education and work experience, and the effects of poverty. PCPHL has two tracks that both lead to career training: 1) direct entry into full-time, paid work experience through crew-based AmeriCorps service in Philadelphia communities, or 2) for court-involved individuals, more rapid entry through the preparatory TRUST program, which provides part-time paid work experience and robust supportive services that can lead to subsequent AmeriCorps crew enrollment.
Father’s Day Rally Committee – $75,000
Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc. requested funds to support the implementation of “Fathers On A Mission” program to offer support to fathers that lose loved ones to gun violence. Funds will support the cost of a part-time case worker; part-time administrative assistant; and part-time program manager; and include supplies to support their work, including laptops and cellphones. The organization will provide fathers with the skills and tools to overcome the trauma allowing them to create interaction with members of their families and community to share their experience to help reduce levels of violence.
House of Umoja – $150,000
The House of Umoja requested funds to support the implementation of the Umoja Intentional Community, a model multi-tiered community outreach and youth leadership initiative that creates a violence-free zone of Carroll Park community; executes block by block; provides resource triage; mobilizes block captains as advocates for block members who identify families in need while also identifying resources block members may provide to the community; provides sanctuary space for block captains and block members to voice their needs and devise solutions; gives voice to young adults age 15-25 to layout a blueprint for their future through youth editions of Umoja magazine; implements “Planting Seeds of Peace” messaging campaign throughout Carroll Park in partnership with local stores and restaurants; hosts a yearly hybrid Healing Conference bringing stakeholders, community members, youth age 15-25, and wellness and behavioral health practitioners; and has an urban peace corps of students enrolled in 11th and 12th grades trained via the Fattah Peace Corp Academy, a 12-week leadership after-school program. Funds will support the development and training costs of block captains, stakeholders, youth ambassadors, consultants and resource triage workers; cover the cost of part- time consultants, including a Program Director and two Social Workers; as well as supplies to support the work.
Impact Services – $1,500,000
- Impact Services requested funds to launch an Anti-Violence Program that connects to its existing community engagement and workforce development programming. Funds will support:
- Direct Outreach/Engagement by hiring a cohort of Kensington residents with lived experience who will engage at-risk young adults (ages 18-34) who are actively or recently engaged in activities that put them at risk of gun violence;
- Structured Mentoring at individual and group levels;
- Job Placements & Paid Training Programs;
- Leadership Development & Community Projects;
- Arts & Creative Self-Expression as a tool for engaging and building community; coping with personal and community-based trauma; celebrating individual and community talent and cultures.
North Central Victim Services – $481,019
North Central Victim Services requested funds for the Positive Alternatives for Trauma and Healing (PATH) Program. This program targets youth ages 14-24 and their families living in the Strawberry Mansion and Kensington communities who are at risk for experiencing trauma by promoting positive alternatives to violence through developmentally based mentorship, outreach, making connections, and providing supportive services. Neighborhood mentors will work with youth and their families to support positive relationships and identity additional services that promote not only personal resiliency for the youth but family resilience. In addition, Neighborhood mentors will provide opportunities to get out of the neighborhood to expose the youth to experiences outside of their regular lives in order to increase their worldview and broaden their horizons.
Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), Inc. $1,393,106
Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) requested funds to support the expansion of its Reentry Services program to assist adults ages 25 years of age or older who were formerly incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system and released from prison or jail within 180 days of program enrollment. Funds will be used to support adults with a history of involvement in the adult criminal justice system acquire industry- recognized credentials, obtain and retain living wage jobs and remain free of criminal justice system involvement. This includes covering the cost of Occupational Skills Trainings; Supportive and Emergency Services; Legal Services; Participant Stipends & Incentives; Program Supplies; Staff Professional Development; Program Marketing/Advertising; as well as Occupancy for Program/ Office Space. Funds will also cover the cost to hire additional program staff to support the program including a Program Coordinator, two Case Managers, an Outreach Coordinator, and an Employment Specialist; and will also include supplies to support their work, including office supplies and laptops. OIC will also budget to cover contractual costs for Domestic Violence/ Trauma & Abuse Specialists and Licensed Therapists.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health $719,019
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health requested funds to support a newly formed collaborative of hospital-based violence intervention programs. Philadelphia has six level 1 trauma centers which vary in the availability of hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs). Funds will support the formation of a team with the singular aim of increasing recruitment for individuals injured by a gun by tracking numbers of eligible patients citywide and developing a central recruitment and referral strategy. This includes direct funding for programs to support the expansion of their work of recruitment and data collection. A citywide, centralized effort to facilitate timely support of those with injury from firearm violence has potential to not only reduce subsequent exposure to violence, but also to increase access to mental health support, employment, legal support, and other services. Centralizing this effort allows for data sharing, tracking of relevant outcomes, and implementation of best practices across institutions.
Temple University Hospital Trauma Department – $961,500
Temple University Hospital, Inc requested funds to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Response to Violence (CRV) project, a hospital-based violence intervention program that will aim to mitigate the effects of community violence by: 1) supporting violently-injured patients’ emotional needs immediately following their victimization, 2) quickly linking them to a broad network of victim service agencies, and 3) providing them high-quality mental health services. Funds from the two-year grant will cover the salary and benefits for three full-time hospital-based Victim Advocates, two part-time hospital-based Victim Advocates, and one dedicated Trauma Psychologist; support training costs for the Victim Advocates; and include supplies to support their work, including a laptop computer.
University of Pennsylvania – Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) – $1,267,032
The PISC, Penn Trauma, and strategic community partners requested funds to develop and evaluate a collective impact partnership to support community-engaged, evidence-based violence prevention in West/Southwest Philadelphia. This includes (1) convening the PHIGHT network (Philadelphia’s Hub to Reduce Interpersonal Violence, Gun Violence, Homicide and Trauma) to align a collective vision, shared metrics, and mutually reinforcing activities; (2) identifying a cohort of 40-65 adults and young adults at highest risk for future involvement in gun violence for focused intervention using data systems (i.e. Philadelphia CARES, Shooting Dashboard, Penn Trauma registry), the PHIGHT network, and knowledgeable community partners; and (3) implementing and evaluating trauma-informed violence interruption services and tailored assistance from community-based organizations including short and long-term conflict resolution and goal support for the cohort.