Application window for Philly anti-violence grants starts Friday

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at Olney Transportation Center, where a mass shooting occurred on Feb. 17, 2021. He joined local and state officials in calling for legislative and executive action to stop gun violence. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks at Olney Transportation Center, where a mass shooting occurred on Feb. 17, 2021. He joined local and state officials in calling for legislative and executive action to stop gun violence. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Starting Friday, certain grassroots anti-violence groups in Philadelphia can apply for grants through the city’s Anti-Violence Community Partnership program, a nascent initiative designed to drive dollars to medium-sized neighborhood-based organizations that may not have received funding in the past.

The $22 million program, made possible by an unprecedented investment in anti-violence efforts this fiscal year, comes amid a historic and unrelenting surge in gun violence. It will award grants ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Recipients will also receive guidance from the city on how to build capacity to handle larger grants, as well as monitor outcomes.

“We are looking for programs that expand access to community-based trauma services, build relationships to promote mental and emotional and well-being, as well as support services to help individuals highly at risk to be able to obtain and keep a job,” said Mayor Jim Kenney during a news conference on Wednesday.

The application will be posted online on the Office of Criminal Justice and Public Safety’s website, with the application window closing after four weeks, on Sept. 3.

The city will begin considering applications on a rolling basis beginning Aug. 16, meaning some early selections will be announced in early September, said mayoral spokesperson Deana Gamble.

And yet it remains unclear which anti-violence organizations will be eligible to apply for grants through the program. The city is reportedly considering limiting the pool of applicants to groups that have been working on anti-violence efforts for a certain number of years and have operating budgets between $500,000 and $25 million, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Gamble said Wednesday that the qualifications would be finalized by Friday, when the application is released to the public. “We’re looking for organizations with a proven track record in the focus areas,” she said in an email.

She said smaller organizations will not be considered by the program, primarily because they are already eligible for grants through the Targeted Community Investment Grant program, which will distribute $2.5 million this fiscal year.

Arrest announced

During Wednesday’s news conference, police announced that they had arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with a mass shooting in late March that injured seven people outside the Golf and Social Club, a sports bar on Delaware Avenue.

Deputy Police Commissioner Ben Naish said the minor, who was not identified because of his age, was taken into custody on July 27 following an investigation involving officers in Montgomery County, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the public.

“An offender profile was developed. Video surveillance from numerous locations was obtained, placing the offender in a vehicle that was used before the shooting,” said Naish.

The boy is charged with seven counts of attempted murder, Naish said.

Police are still searching for a second shooter.

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