PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City Council is throwing more money at Philadelphia’s gun violence problem. $155 million — the amount City Council and the mayor are committing to curbing gun violence in the fiscal year 2022 budget. Community leaders welcome the effort.
A room packed with young men from North Philly, guided by Pastor Carl Day, whose focus has been keeping at-risk youth safe. He not only mentors them about life, but they also use a nearby basketball court to release pent-up energy.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Body Of Missing 26-Year-Old Casey Johnston Recovered, Believed To Have Been Killed In Crash, Authorities Say
“A lot of the things we see out here is people that are devoid of love, people that are angry, people that have a lot of misplaced anger and hatred,” said Pastor Day with Culture Changing Christians.
Community leaders say it takes a village, and city budget aid helps them do their part.
“Nobody knows how to make themselves safe, but unity is what’s going to make us safe,” said Khalif Mujahid-Ali with the Beloved Care Foundation, Inc.
Of the $155 million budget, $68 million has been added to focus on healing, community empowerment, safe havens for youth by restoring Parks and Rec, employment, prevention, and a whopping $20 million will go to new community grants.Man Cleaning Gun, Shoots And Kills 22-Year-Old Girlfriend In Bustleton, Philadelphia Police Say
Organizations will have to meet certain qualifications.
“We will be working in partnership with City Council and a number of other community partners to lay out some requirements and some expectations that we have of community organizations that are going to be in historically disadvantaged communities,” said Erica Atwood with the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives.
Trauma surgeon Dr. Jessica Beard works firsthand with gunshot victims. She says research goes hand-in-hand to support any new spending.
“What’s so essential to this work is really to begin to start understanding gun violence as a public health problem,” Beard said.
Community groups can apply for grants through late July.MORE NEWS: Colts' Carson Wentz Choosing Rest, Rehab For Foot Injury, Remains Out Indefinitely
There are also a number of open job positions in the city for people interested in taking a more hands-on approach to the gun violence epidemic. For more information, click here.