Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced more than $2.5 million is available for community crime prevention grants. The Central Indiana Community Foundation is now accepting applications.
VOICES, a community arts outreach program, was a recipient last year. It received $50,000 for its Power and Promise program to train high schoolers to mentor middle schoolers from the same communities.
Kia Wells, VOICES executive director, says many high schoolers have learned to manage conflict and make strong decisions for themselves, and this gives them the chance to share those lessons.
“We know that they listen to each other a lot quicker than they listen to those of us in authority and things like that,” Wells says. “So we're really hoping to see some great impact with that.”
The program also seeks to help kids heal from trauma.
“There was a quote I heard recently that said, if you don't heal what hurt you, you will bleed on those that didn't cut you,” Wells says. “And so we're really hoping that through our services and our programs, our kids begin to heal so that we can see some change.”
Starting this cycle, the grant program will offer money specifically for capacity building -- a potential funding source for neighborhood-level organizations that have few resources. Also, new this year, organizations will be required to submit reports detailing how the funds are used.
Hogsett encouraged nonprofits and neighborhood groups addressing violence to apply to these grants.
“The community crime prevention grant program empowers groups who work with those most at risk of falling victim to violence, and falling victim to violent lifestyles,” Hogsett says. “Our community realizes that a holistic solution to the problem of violence will involve many partners at many levels.”
The deadline to apply for a grant is July 31 at 5 p.m.