Pennsylvania Allocates $15.7 Million in Violence Intervention and Prevention Grants

Governor Tom Wolf today announced $15.7 million in grant funding to support local strategies to stop gun and group violence across Pennsylvania. Grants were awarded to 40 projects through the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

“Gun violence is a scourge that cuts right to the heart of our communities. We must do more to prevent violence in our commonwealth and stop the trauma of violence from blighting our future,” said Gov. Wolf. “These grants will provide communities and local organizations with necessary resources to disrupt violence, promote healing and make our communities safer. This funding is an important next step in tackling the gun violence epidemic and reducing violence in our communities.”

Reducing gun violence in Pennsylvania is a top priority for Governor Wolf. In 2019, he signed an Executive Order creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention and a Special Council on Gun Violence within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, as well as the Division of Violence Prevention within the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

One of the Special Council’s recommendations was to prioritize funding to support community-led efforts and address resource disparities. As a result, PCCD has prioritized support for organizations working at the neighborhood and community level to prevent and reduce violence. The VIP grants awarded today fund effective, community-designed and community-led strategies to reduce gun violence.

VIP grants provide funding to local organizations for a wide range of programs focused on reducing community violence, including street outreach and violence interruption programs utilizing credible messengers; Safe Corridors/Safe Passages programs, which prevent incidents to/from school and other community centers; providing referrals to partner agencies focused on meeting basic needs of participants, including education, employment, health and other services; comprehensive pre-release and reentry programs for returning citizens; trauma-informed approaches to support victims and survivors of gun violence; as well as youth activities and mentorship.

“With the initial awards of funding today, a significant step was taken to combat the rising violence plaguing many of our communities,” ​said Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vince Hughes ​D-Phila/Montgomery. “By making investments in a wide variety of neighborhood-based organizations the Commonwealth, for the first time, is making a significant investment of new state dollars available to combat the violence that has inundated many black and brown communities.  This historic investment will serve as a down payment for many neighborhood groups that understand the fabric of their communities and can actively address the systematic causes of the violence epidemic affecting every county across the Commonwealth.”

“Every day we lose Pennsylvanians to gun violence, traumatizing our families and our communities,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware. “These violence prevention grants are an important tool for our communities to support and expand safety initiatives, to protect families and neighborhoods, and to begin to reverse the epidemic of gun violence and its negative outcomes.”