November 18, 2022

Latest round of violence prevention grants aims to help youth

Indianapolis officials announced grant funding this week to help prevent youth from participating in violent crime.  - Courtesy of OPHS

Indianapolis officials announced grant funding this week to help prevent youth from participating in violent crime.

Courtesy of OPHS

Indianapolis officials announced grant funding this week to help prevent youth from participating in violent crime.

The grants are part of the Community-Based Violence Reduction Partnership – an annual program organized by the Office of Public Health and Safety.

New B.O.Y., VOICES and the Brightwood Community Center are the new recipients of the grants. New B.O.Y. and VOICES both specifically work to help children and teens who have been affected by the juvenile justice system. Each organization will receive $100,000.

OPHS Program Director for Violence Reduction Shardae Hoskins said as the grant program has grown, the needs of both young people and adults were identified.

“We hear all the stories, all the cases of young people being involved with violence, young people just being involved in mischief,” Hoskins said. “So these programs give them a positive outlet and create safe spaces for them.”

New B.O.Y is a mentorship program that hosts sport classes like karate and boxing. They also hold meetings for teens to talk about the challenges they are facing.

“Not only are we able to extend our reach to youth in other communities with this funding, but we are also able to make it easier for other mentoring agencies and families to engage with New B.O.Y, in a very meaningful way,” said Kareem Hines, founder and CEO of New B.O.Y. in a news release. “I believe our youth engagement philosophy of ‘Connection before Correction’ is the key to building transformational relationships with the youth.”

The grants are part of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s violence reduction plan, which he announced last year and includes $150 million in American Rescue Plan funding. The plan encompasses new technology for law enforcement, mental health resources and money for grassroots groups.

“The three organizations we recognize today focus on the root-causes of violence in Indianapolis neighborhoods,” Hogsett said in a news release. “From mental and physical health to conflict resolution to better access to services—these groups are doing the work that will create a better Indianapolis for all.”

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