Governor Tom Wolf Announces $355 Million Commitment to Safer Communities in Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — Governor Tom Wolf was joined yesterday by Democratic legislative backers for gun violence prevention and local advocates fighting against gun violence to highlight his $355 million commitment to safer communities in Pennsylvania.

At the Mander Playground in Philadelphia, where the community has seen gun violence-fueled bloodshed firsthand, Gov. Wolf announced the availability of $100.5 million to support effective community violence intervention efforts across Pennsylvania. Through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), two new violence intervention programs are now open. The first is the Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program, which will provide funding to hospitals across the state to support trauma centers and emergency departments as they work to connect victims of violence with social services and Violence Intervention Programs (VIPs). The second program is the Evidence-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, which will provide funding to local organizations working to implement evidence-based violence prevention strategies in their communities. This includes things like conflict resolution training, youth mentoring programs, and gun buyback initiatives. Gov. Wolf secured funding for PCCD in his final budget.

“I’ve committed $355 million and taken as much executive action as I can throughout the course of my administration to prevent more bloodshed, and more tears shed, in this commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “Pennsylvanians deserve to live their lives without gun violence-induced fear. With continued creativity, investments, and partnerships, safer communities are within reach.”

The $85.5 million Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Program is open for community organizations, municipalities, institutions of higher education, and district attorneys to request funding for a wide variety of programs that address community violence and prevention efforts.  Grant awards can range from $25,000 to $2.5 million to support project activities over a 29-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes on October 12, 2022.

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A new program, the $15 million Coordinated Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Strategies Pilot Program, aims to invest in collaborative community violence prevention and response strategies within focused service areas. This new initiative will support five to eight pilot projects that will pursue transformative strategies to prevent and respond to violence. Eligible applicants can request up to $3 million to launch and implement a pilot project over a 32-month period. Applications can be submitted online, the application period closes on October 31, 2022.

“The community groups working tirelessly to combat violence told us they needed more resources: we heard them and are answering those calls,” said Senator Vincent Hughes. “Eighteen months ago, there was no money in this space. A year ago, we were able to invest $45 million in these groups. We cannot wait to see the life-changing work these groups are able to accomplish.”

“Philadelphia is supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love, but we are not living up to that name,” said Representative Amen Brown. “Our communities are suffering and young people are dying due to senseless acts of gun violence. We have to do our part as elected officials to invest in our people and our communities. We can only do that by ensuring gun violence prevention programs are accessible to youth to show them that they have options and do not have to be a statistic. Prevention starts at home, right here in our own backyards.”

“The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus worked with our leadership and Gov. Wolf to make this significant investment in violence intervention and prevention programs because they are proven to reduce the real costs of gun violence in our communities,” said Representative Donna Bullock, Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.

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