Jan. 7, 2020 7:31 am

Money Moves: City awards $1M for gun violence reduction

Plus, grants for the expansion of West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, transformational arts, and school safety.

(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay)

Money Moves is a semi-regular column tracking grants made by local funders, including foundations, giving circles, trusts and corporate entities. Send notices to philly@generocity.org.

1. City of Philadelphia awards $1M to community organizations working to prevent and reduce gun violence.

On January 6, it was announced that the City of Philadelphia has allocated $1 million in funding to more than 50 grassroots organizations working to address the root cause of gun violence, including programs centered on mentoring, career skill-building, sports leagues, and and groups that connect returning citizens to their communities.

According to the announcement, this second round “of targeted Community Investment funding increases access to trauma-informed care for those affected by violence, expands grief support programming for impacted families, and provides training for young adults to become positive role models in their neighborhoods. The funding also directly supports workshops and ‘safe spaces’ for young men who are at the highest risk of gun violence.”

Recipients include organizations such as Mighty Writers, Covenant House PA, West Kensington Ministry and Mural Arts, as well as individual community leaders like Edwin Desamour. 

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2. UCD receives $450K from the Connelly Foundation and $445K from the William Penn Foundation to expand WPSI.

On Dec. 19, 2019, University City District announced it was awarded $895K to expand the reach of its West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, which has worked to close the opportunity gap and address unemployment in West Philadelphia as a pathway out of intergenerational poverty since the initiative’s inception in 2011.

A $450,ooo three-year grant from the Connelly Foundation will support WPSI’s expansion by helping it “pursue three separate and interconnected growth strategies: partnering with citywide employers that hire at scale; creating a neighborhood-based Skills Initiative network; and growing its employment-driven social enterprise,” according to the announcement of the grant. The award will also enable UCD to work with Temple University‘s Lenfest North Philadelphia Workforce Initiative (LNPWI) and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to “build a place-based network of employer-driven workforce programs in West, North, South, and Southwest Philadelphia.”

The William Penn Foundation‘s $445,000 grant will enable “a partnership between UCD’s Green City Works and the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation to improve conditions at five West Philadelphia parks while also establishing a new model for parks maintenance that creates and sustains growth-oriented jobs that pay living-wage for neighborhood residents,” according to the announcement. Green City Works is UCD’s landscaping social venture which is described as employing West Philadelphians, providing high quality design-build-maintenance landscaping services and transforming the way the industry trains, advances, and supports its workforce.

Along with fall 2019 investments from Citizens Bank and JP Morgan Chase, these two grants bring the total of funding for expansion of WPSI to more than $2.5 million.

3. Leeway Foundation accords $150K to 10 artists in 2019 Transformation Awards.

In late December 2019, Leeway Foundation announced that 10 individual women, trans and gender nonconforming artists and cultural producers in Greater Philadelphia will each receive $15,000 in unrestricted funding as recipients of the Foundation’s Transformation Awards. The awards are an “affirmation of [the artists’] commitment to their communities and art for social change,” according to the announcement.

“This year’s cohort includes artists continuing five generations of healing and folklore arts, burgeoning millennials who have used their work and representation on a global level, and a poet laureate who continues to inspire all generations through poetry and literature.”

The awardees are:

  • afaq of Northeast Philadelphia
  • Claudia Peregrina of South Philadelphia
  • Danie Ocean of Media
  • Folami Irvine of East Falls
  • Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter of South Philadelphia
  • Melissa Beatriz of West Philadelphia
  • Nadine M. Patterson of Mt. Airy
  • Wit López of West Philadelphia
  • Yolanda Wisher of Germantown
  • Yinka Orafidiya of West Mt. Airy

4. Cedar Grove Christian Academy receives nearly $25K from PA Dept. of Education for safety improvements.

State Rep. Jared Solomon today presented a $24,924 grant to Cedar Grove Christian Academy. (Courtesy photo)

On Dec. 12, 2019, State Rep. Jared Solomon presented a $24,924 grant to Cedar Grove Christian Academy to upgrade the school’s security equipment. The Safe Schools Targeted Grant is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education‘s efforts to assist schools in promoting safe-learning environments.

The grant will go toward multi-channel radios for teachers and staff for use during emergencies; a surveillance system with interior and exterior cameras accessible both on-site and remotely; and an electronic locking system for the main entrance of the academy.

“Safety is a top priority at Cedar Grove Christian Academy,” Cedar Grove’s principal, Jeffrey Howard, said in the announcement about the presentation. “This funding is critical in allowing us to make the necessary updates to best protect and prepare our students, teachers and staff for dangerous situations that may arise.”


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