The Gun Violence Prevention Commission met on May 25 to consider mini-grant applications submitted by local non-profit and faith-based organizations for activities designed for prevention and intervention of gun violence in our community. The commission received 24 applications with proposals totaling $101,000. The Commission reviewed all applications and approved funding in the amount of $65,000, to be distributed to the following organizations for activities to be completed by Aug. 31, 2021:
- Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia—funding for the Project Learn program, to pilot positive action violence, social, emotional, and violence reduction educational programming.
- CommUNITY Arts Reach— funding for the Guns Down, ARTS UP educational and performance-based program.
- Anew Genesis Ministries—funding to address prevention efforts in the Roanoke community through a positive mentoring and entrepreneurial skills program for young persons aged 12 through 18.
- Cultural Arts for Excellence—funding for yearly summer camp providing opportunities for youth to be creative, learn positive non-violent coping skills, and be outside.
- Total Action for Progress—funding for a TAP-Gun Violence Intervention Community Engagement project to foster new partnerships, build capacity, and increase the effectiveness of existing mainstream resources, with a focus on the Melrose-Rugby neighborhood.
- Casa Latina Roanoke Valley—funding for a "Summer Hangout" program during the month of August will be available to any youth middle school through age 25 with a focus on alternatives to violence, conflict resolution, outlets for energy and frustration, and artistic forms of expression.
- Building Bridges Over Barriers—funding for a festival event to raise awareness, offer education, and provide resources of the citizens of Roanoke to effectively address the effects and gun and other violence in our community.
- Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition—funding for Groceries Not Guns, a gun buyback event that focuses on reducing handgun access to adolescents in Roanoke City as a means to reduce suicide and homicide risk.
- Straight Street Roanoke Valley, Inc.—funding to support presentations in City schools, with keynote speakers sharing information about gun violence. This is based Rachel’s Challenge, a program designed to prevent gun violence by providing education and developing a peer support system.
- SOOUL Foundation—funding for a mentoring program that will run through the summer months to allow local middle school students a safe place to express themselves and their talents. The program will run twice a month on Fridays for three hours.
- Paradise Community Development Center—funding for Lock-In’s each Friday in June for youth grades K-12, to provide youth with tools to migrate through the summer safely, have a safe place to engage with peers and mentors, and receive education and training in how to communicate and resolve conflicts without violence.
- Paradise Cathedral Family Center, Humble Bees Youth Ministry—funding to facilitate training and programming for adult and youth peer mentoring.
- The Humble Hustle Company, Inc.—funding to collaborate with Imagine Me Mentoring and provide a second free summer enrichment camp for youth grades 5 through 8. This project will provide a safe, inclusive, dynamic space for the most at-risk youth during the summer.
- Garden of Prayer # 7 Vision of Faith Ministries, Inc.—funding for three community outreach programs for inner city youth and neighbors to enrich, encourage, and invoke positive change in the neighborhood. Program will include the re-launch CLIP of (Children Learning Program in the Prevention of Crime).
- Family Service of Roanoke Valley—funding to provide positive action facilitation and programming to youth in after-school centers in the summer months. Positive action is an evidence-based social and emotional learning program.
- West End Center for Youth—funding to expand their high school program to prevent violence and improve the lives of those who deal with its effects, refined to use best practices for addressing community violence.
- W.E. Charm—funding to partner with local agencies, police, mental health organizations, after-school programs and firearms safety organizations to provide a violence intervention program to young adults and youth in our local community, including mentorship and educational support, training and workshop materials to our young adult parents raising young children.
Grant recipients have been notified, and the Commission will award the money subject to final confirmation that the organizations’ planned activities meet the grant specifications.
For question or more information, please contact Angela O’Brien at 540-853-5309, angela.o’[email protected] or City Council Member Joe Cobb at 540-580-9645, [email protected].