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City Announces Second Round of Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program Awardees

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia today announced the second round of the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program awardees. This second round of awardees includes four additional organizations that will collectively receive more than $2.5 million in funding, bringing the total amount distributed through this program to more than $4.8 million. The second round of awardees are: Norris Square Community Alliance, Somerset Community Center & Lighthouse Sports Complex, PowerCorps PHL, and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School.

In July 2021, Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council announced a $22 million investment in Anti-Violence Community Partnership Grants. This is a major piece of the historic $155.7 million investment in a wide array of violence prevention programming and services that contribute to the City’s violence prevention and reduction goals.

To achieve and sustain a reduction in gun violence and improve the quality of life in communities most affected by gun violence, the City is investing in organizations with proven track records of delivering quality anti-violence interventions to help them expand and strengthen their efforts. A key step in this effort is the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants. The first round of awards from this program were announced earlier in October

“The City is continuing to act with urgency as we invest in anti-violence initiatives that both address the immediate crisis and tackle the systemic, root causes of violence. The second round of these grants are a promising and important next step in this effort,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I’m proud that—through our partnership with City Council—we’re investing directly in organizations that can help make our communities safer and save lives. We look forward to making additional awards in the coming weeks.”

“We’re heartened to see the community-focused violence prevention grant process is ongoing – a key element of the budget agreement approved by City Council and the Kenney administration last summer,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “The focus in today’s grants announced—jobs training, youth programming, educational opportunities for young people who need a second chance—are all vitally important as we seek collectively as a city to reduce this unacceptable wave of gun violence. City Council fully supports the $22 million appropriated for community-driven violence prevention work, and there is more to come.”

"Congratulations to the latest four organizations to receive Anti-Violence Community Partnership Grants (Anti-Violence Grants),” said Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Chairman of Council's Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. “So far, nearly $5 million in Anti-Violence Grants have been given to groups with more winners to come. The level of gun violence we experienced in Philadelphia in 2020 and continues so far in 2021 is unacceptable. We must have the urgent sense of now to get this money to boots-on-the-ground organizations as fast as possible. The Anti-Violence Grants continue to be a part of a paradigm shift in how city government will fight gun violence and fund community groups dealing with the issue for years to come.”  

Applications for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants, which opened on August 6, are being considered and awarded on a rolling basis. Below is a list of current awardees, and more awards will be announced in the coming weeks:


Norris Square Community Alliance (NSCA) — Grant Award: $1,000,000

  • Norris Square Community Alliance (formerly Norris Square Civic Association)’s mission is to empower residents to become self-reliant and to unite and build the community by developing and improving the physical, economic, social, cultural, and educational  aspects of the neighborhood. NSCA provides a bilingual array of comprehensive services that address the impact of poverty and provide a pathway to economic mobility for families and the community.
  • Three existing Youth Empowerment Centers located in Upper Kensington, Fairhill, and Hunting Park provide a network of community safe havens for at-risk youth and young adults, ages 13 to 24, through intentional social services designed to respond to gun violence reduction. Through the CEG grant award, Youth Empowerment Centers will expand existing youth development programs by focusing on key anti-violence prevention programs and providing trauma-informed services, including psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

Somerset Community Center & Lighthouse Sports Complex — Grant Award: $719,876

  • Located at Erie & Whitaker Avenues in Feltonville, Somerset Community Center & Lighthouse Sports Complex provides educational, recreational, cultural, social, and economic improvement programs to families to improve their quality of life.
  • Somerset Community Center & Lighthouse Sports Complex will use its grant to enhance its space to provide a safe space for families, provide consistency and structure for local youth through programs and activities, and provide accessible organized sports to teach commitment to responsibility, grit, and teamwork.

 PowerCorps PHL — Grant Award: $550,000

  • PowerCorps PHL is a cross-sector collaborative model that engages disconnected young adults and returning citizens to enter and succeed in career pathways by using service as the strategy.
  • PowerCorps PHL’s TRUST program is an urban-farm-based healing initiative exclusively for returning residents and young people vulnerable to gun violence that offers immediate enrollment and income while engaging in work-readiness, skill-building, and therapeutic supports. Through the CEG grant award, PowerCorps PHL will deepen recruitment and outreach efforts in communities vulnerable to gun violence; increase compensation for participants and expand transportation supports; expand the integration of healing and therapeutic supports across all workforce development programming and through employment; increase support of green space projects in priority zip codes; and build out community-based and community-facing fellowships in schools, community organizations, and green spaces in priority zip codes.

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School — Grant Award: $298,967

  • YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is a unique, alternative education program that offers an opportunity for young adults, ages 18-21, to earn their high school diplomas, develop vital job skills, and transition into postsecondary employment, training, and/or education.  Since 1992, YouthBuild Philadelphia has helped former high school dropouts reclaim their education and build a brighter future for themselves.
  • Through the CEG grant award, YouthBuild Philadelphia will expand the number of students receiving intensive support and engagement programming to ensure they are engaged, supported, mentally healthy, and prepared for (and transitioned into) meaningful employment. This includes an expansion of service learning opportunities, and paid vocational internships.

Total Grant Awards (as of October 27, 2021): $4,838,762. This total amount includes awards made in the first round from this program, announced earlier in October 2021.

About the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program
The Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program directly funds and supports community-based organizations that are focused on reducing violence through trauma-informed healing and restorative practices and safe havens and mentorship.

The City provides grants ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000 to community-based organizations that have annual operating budgets below $15,000,000 and a proven track record working in neighborhoods vulnerable to gun violence. By targeting funding towards proven community-based organizations, the City is putting this money in the hands of organizations with a proven track record of delivering quality, culturally relevant services while making sure those applying already have the infrastructure in place to be successful.

The focus of the Community Expansion Grants is to provide direct trauma-informed healing and restorative practices or safe havens and mentorship programs. Funded projects supporting those focus areas must take place between fall 2021 and summer 2022.

The deadline for applications closed on September 17, 2021. Applications for the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants are now being considered and awarded on a rolling basis. Additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

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