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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Announces Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program and Coordinator Position to Improve Safety in our Neighborhoods

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 10-28-2021

Akron, Ohio, October 28, 2021 — Violence in Akron neighborhoods is a top concern of Akron residents, and reducing violence among youth and community members is the top priority of Mayor Dan Horrigan’s administration.  Last month, Mayor Horrigan released his Five Point Framework for Community Violence Reduction in Akron.  The Framework builds on the work of the Youth Violence Prevention Taskforce first convened in 2016 and focuses on the key pillars of: Prevention, Intervention & Support, Enforcement, Partnership & Advocacy, and Community Accountability. As the City pursues meaningful investments in each of these five areas, including police enforcement, Mayor Horrigan is announcing next steps in key components of the Framework related to preventing crime, including a new City grant program and a new staff position to coordinate youth and community violence prevention programming.

As outlined in the Framework, the City will tackle youth and community violence with a robust, sustainable, culturally competent approach, building on the priorities established by the Youth Violence Prevention Strategic Plan. The City has set aside approximately $10 million of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), to provide grants and technical assistance to support eligible local organizations that are working to prevent violence from occurring, stop the progression of violence, and rehabilitate individuals with a history of violent behavior.

The Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Grant Program is open to nonprofit organizations and faith-based organizations, as well as healthcare organizations that provide care to individuals experiencing trauma exacerbated by the pandemic. The City hopes to award an initial allocation of up to $450,000 total in grant funding by December 2021. The VIP grant application will remain open on a rolling basis over the next several years, with additional funding awards being made quarterly through 2022.  The City is planning training sessions to assist organizations in navigating the application process starting with the first quarter 2022 funding cycle. More information, including the Notice of Funding Opportunity and the grant application are available at www.akronohio.gov/ARPA.

“The pandemic has affected our city in many challenging ways, including creating the conditions that led to a spike in gun homicides,” Mayor Horrigan said.  “Decreasing this violence in our community requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that supports effective policing but also goes well beyond that.  By supporting proven mentoring, skills building and intervention programs we can prevent crime and enhance the wellbeing of a generation of young people not only burdened by longstanding inequities and exposure to violence, but also the increased stress and harm of the COVID-19 pandemic. By investing in the trusted and emerging community programs that are already doing this essential work in our neighborhoods, we can reach more young people and wrap our arms tightly around them as a community so they stay in school, develop healthy connections, and can pursue meaningful careers.”

In addition to the VIP Grant Program, the City is also announcing its search for a Violence Prevention Coordinator to serve as the City’s staff resource for violence reduction initiatives, community-based intervention and coordination of a comprehensive effort to address youth violence.          

The ideal candidate will be creative, resourceful, entrepreneurial, a trust builder, collaborator, effective communicator, and detail-oriented with a proven track record in systems building. The position requires a candidate with community credibility, awareness of sociopolitical context, cultural competence and professional integrity. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by visiting www.governmentjobs.com/careers/akron.

“It is imperative that we connect our residents with the opportunities and services they need and deserve, and partner with organizations to acknowledge and heal the trauma that exposure to violence creates,” said Tamiyka Rose, Health Equity Ambassador and Assistant to the Mayor for Public Policy.  “This grant program and Coordinator position are commitments from Mayor Horrigan to partner alongside the grassroots organizations that are truly invested in the neighborhoods. We have a once in a generation opportunity to invest in our local organizations and help them build capacity so they can sustain these services even after these one-time federal funds are gone.” 

The City is hard at work developing and growing other programs that will utilize ARPA funds to uplift Akron neighborhoods, families, and businesses.  Many of these programs, including the Akron Cares program which assists Akron water and sewer customers struggling to pay their bills, will become available after Akron City Council approves the budgeting of the funds for the remainder of 2021.  For updates or to submit ideas, please visit www.akronohio.gov/ARPA

For further information, contact:
City of Akron Press Office
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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