Wolf Administration announces $7.5 million funding opportunity to address community violence

Local News

In this Dec. 29, 2015 file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf is attacking local elected officials making plans to reopen in defiance of his shutdown orders as cowards deserting the pandemic battlefield. Wolf threatened Monday, May 11, 2020 to block aid to rebellious counties in an escalating political fight over his administration’s handling of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The Wolf Administration announced recently that The School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is opening a competitive solicitation for grant applications designed to reduce or prevent community violence. State School Safety and Security Grant Program funds totaling $7.5 million will be made available for eligible applicants, which include municipalities, counties, institutions of higher education and community organizations. 

In the first two years of the community violence program, the SSSC has awarded nearly $15 million in grants, approving 54 applications supporting projects in 27 counties.

Funding has previously supported a wide range of projects, from neighborhood-based violence interventions to dating violence prevention to youth mentoring. 

“We must continue to address violence of all types in Pennsylvania communities and these grants can help do that by funding programs targeted to communities’ specific needs,” Gov. Wolf said. “Continuing to fund community violence prevention programs expands our goal of a safer Pennsylvania for everyone.” 

As the grant program enters its third year, the SSSC has decided to prioritize applications that intend to use evidence-based or evidence-informed programs to reduce or prevent community-based violence in areas identified with high-violent crime rates. 

While this prioritization does not preclude any other application for any other type of community violence prevention, it does mean that applications collectively addressing these areas will receive priority consideration.

Maximum grant awards are for $300,000 and project periods can be up to two years.  

“While addressing community violence in all its various forms is necessary and important,” SSSC and PCCD Chairman Charles Ramsey said, “the immediate priority is to address gun, gang and interpersonal violence, and we strongly encourage applicants to answer that call.”

The funding announcement can be found on PCCD’s website here. Applicants have until Tuesday, Nov. 10 to submit applications to PCCD. Awards are expected to be announced in January 2021.

For more information about the SSSC, including information on school safety assessment criteria, an online registry of individuals qualified to perform those assessments, and a Model Trauma-Informed Approach Plan, can be found on PCCD’s School Safety and Security webpage

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