PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The battle over gun violence in Philadelphia takes a new turn — with cold, hard cash. A newly-formed grant program is giving money to community-based organizations in neighborhoods prone to violence.
Five-hundred-thousand dollars is up for grabs for any grassroots organization that’s helping put an end to gun violence. But you have to act quickly, as the money is not available for long.
Violence seems to have a grip on Philadelphia, but city officials are hoping some extra cash will loosen its hold.
“We’re giving $500 to $20,000 awards to grassroots organizations people working in the community to address gun violence,” said Theron Pride, senior director of Violence Prevention Strategies Programs.
Grants that would help organizations like Stand Up Nicetown.
“We call it Stand Up Nicetown because we pick one of the busiest corners in our neighborhood and just stood out there and talked to people and brought resources around,” Kendra Brooks said. “Being a good father, resources for young men and mentorship.”
But it’s hard to combat the violence when there’s no funding for grassroots organizations.
“It’s completely self-funded,” Brooks said. “Each one of our organizations, each one of our members — we fund all of our meetings, all our programming is out of pocket.”
Stand Up Nicetown is in the process of applying for the grant. But the Office of Violence Prevention is hoping more organizations take advantage of the funding, too.
“We are hopeful that we’ll actually be overwhelmed because we had a lot of people before now come to us,” Pride said.
The deadline to apply is April 30, and those doing the work are grateful for the financial support.
“It doesn’t make sense to beautify things in the neighborhood and don’t make it accessible to all the kids. Funding should never be a barrier to tell a kid that they can’t do great things,” Brooks said
You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. If you’re not successful this time around, they’re hoping to have more grants available in the summer.
You can go to 1425 Arch St. to grab an application or apply online at Phila.gov.