Philly DA awards anti-violence grants, says more money available for community groups

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner addresses the media at a press conference

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner addresses the media at a press conference on June 28, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s district attorney has awarded a second round of grants to community-based organizations to help fight violence, with plans to distribute more funding within the next two months.

District Attorney Larry Krasner recently traveled to Vine Memorial Baptist Church to announce $82,500 in grants to four community-based organizations. The Kensington Soccer Club received $35,000; C.B. Community Schools got a check for $27,500; The Jarell Christopher Seay Love and Laughter Foundation got $10,000, along with the Potter’s House Mission.

These groups may be small, but Krasner said they are instrumental in the fight against violence.

“Far too often, our communities have gotten used to hearing gunshots,” said State Rep. Morgan Cephas. “I had to be on a Zoom call with Overbrook High students who are challenged with the education system during COVID. They had to deal with the loss of three of their classmates.”

More than 1,000 people have been shot in Philadelphia so far in 2021, a 24% increase from this time last year. In 2020, gun violence was the leading cause of death among young Black and Latino men, according to the city.

The summer is a time when levels of violence tend to rise, and Krasner said with murders and other violent crimes up above a year ago, now is the time to circumvent the issue by helping with money distributed on the grassroots level. Krasner has also joined the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity in calling on the city’s biggest businesses and nonprofits to chip in.

So far, Krasner’s office has given out nine grants totaling $200,000.

The District Attorney’s Office will announce the next round of grant awards within the next 60 days. The grant money comes from civil asset forfeiture, or revenue from properties seized from criminal suspects. The money is distributed by The Philadelphia Foundation.

Groups interested in applying can email the foundation.

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