For the third summer in a row, neighborhood organizations in Chicago working to reduce gun violence will receive grants to help reclaim parks, streets and public areas and build community cohesion.
Last week, the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities awarded 132 grants, totaling $850,000, to fund activities this summer and fall in 19 Chicago neighborhoods.
“With each application cycle, we grow more and more impressed and inspired by the proposals, and the earnestness and eagerness with which these organizations and community residents seek to serve and support their communities,” said Deborah E. Bennett of Polk Bros. Foundation, who oversees the community grants review process for the Partnership.
The Partnership selected 19 neighborhoods as priorities for funding, based on data compiled by the University of Chicago Crime Lab for highest number and rate of homicides. In each of these communities, grants have been awarded to fund activities for all age groups, ranging from arts activities to mentoring programs to marches for peace.
These community grants are one component of the Partnership’s comprehensive strategy, which also includes direct interventions with young people at risk; police reforms that are helping rebuild trust with the community and strengthen law enforcement; and gun policy reform.
The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities is a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations who have collectively committed more than $40 million dollars to support proven and promising responses to gun violence.
These community grants are awarded by the Partnership’s Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities. The Fund is not meant to be a quick fix to the complex problem of violence. Its targeted, rapid-response grants are one component of the Partnership’s comprehensive strategy, which also includes direct interventions with young people at risk; police reforms that are helping rebuild trust with the community and strengthen law enforcement; and gun policy reform.
The community grants began in the summer of 2016 as gun violence in Chicago was spiking. In its first year, the Fund issued 72 grants totaling $500,000. Last year, the Fund issued 120 grants totaling $850,000.
“The movement for a safe and peaceful Chicago is alive and well in our communities,” Bennett said. “These investments are just one part of a much larger effort to reduce gun violence.”