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Governor Pritzker Announces $113 Million in Anti-Violence Funding Now Available

Press Release - Monday, May 02, 2022

Chicago — Governor JB Pritzker announced the launch of $113 million in funding opportunities for community organizations working on violence prevention and interruption across the state. This funding builds on $73 million already distributed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to organizations in FY22 as well as an additional $71.8 million in the pipeline, with grant agreements expected to be finalized prior to the summer.

These grant applications are part of a series of funding opportunities to reduce firearm violence by implementing evidence-based solutions.

"This is an unprecedented effort to stop the cycle of violence in our communities and invest resources in the communities where they are needed the most," said Governor Pritzker. "From expanding summer jobs, to investing in behavioral health programs and youth development, we are bringing historic levels of funding to proven programs that prevent violence and keep people safe."

The Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) is a three-year, multi-pronged approach to violence prevention that calls for research-backed services like summer and afterschool programming, job training and placement, high-risk youth intervention services, violence interruption, case management, trauma-informed mental health care supported by Medicaid, and more.

The funds are available in neighborhoods that have experienced concentrated firearm violence, including 42 areas across the state -- 26 in Chicago and 16 in the suburbs and downstate. The effort is designed to support both short-term needs and address long-term causes of firearm violence to safeguard impacted communities through research-based violence prevention methods.

Community-based organizations that provide services in any of the 42 eligible communities (and follow GATA guidelines) can apply. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis to expedite funding.

Organizations interested in this second round of violence prevention funding are encouraged to use free IDHS resources, including navigator and technical assistance programs, webinars, and a GATA app. These resources are available at www.DHS.illinois.gov/Grants.

"These investments are designed to build on past work and create enduring change.  Illinois is carrying out an historic commitment - in resources and programs to combat violence. In addition to the anti-violence work of Reimagine Public Safety, IDHS is also strengthening and deepening existing youth development programs," said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services.

"The experts in our communities that do this work understand that when you invest in people—especially youth, teens and families—you are invested in violence prevention," said Chris Patterson, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. "We invite all qualified community-based organizations to join us and apply for funding."
 
"Today, communities are a step closer to addressing the problem of firearm violence with this round of funding being made available.  We are encouraging all communities to apply, get GATA certified so we can work hand-in-hand with affected communities, intervening with at risk youth, supporting survivors and working from a grass roots level. We want every single community to get the public safety everyone deserves," State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).
 
"Many Illinois communities have been impacted by an increase in gun violence," said State Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago). Real public safety demands that we address the root causes of violence at the grassroots level. This next round of funding will allow for communities to get the financial resources needed to make impact and change."

IDHS is focused on bringing resources into communities to address the epidemic of firearm violence that has impacted too many Illinois communities. 

"The state's investment is welcome recognition of the comprehensive, urgent, and often-unsung work community organizations have been doing to strengthen and expand community-led violence prevention infrastructure in Illinois," Soledad McGrath, Executive Director, Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative, Research Professor, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University.

Additionally, the administration is launching a statewide a series of community roundtables. Community conversations will take place in Rockford, Champaign, Peoria, and East St. Louis with local community advisors, faith-based leaders, and elected officials. The Reimagine Public Safety Act requires the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to convene Local Advisory Councils (LAC) in the 16 RPSA eligible service areas outside of Chicago.

To apply for funding, visit www.dhs.illinois.gov/rpsa.



About the Office Firearm Violence Prevention

Firearm violence is a multifaceted challenge that requires a public health approach to stop the cycles of violence in disproportionately impacted communities. The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) was created as a result of the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) (430 ILCS 69), which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2021. The RPSA is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention in response to the State of Illinois' heightened experience of loss, harm, and trauma by the hands of firearm violence, especially during the COVID-19 lock down.

The OFVP's mission is to address the statewide public health emergency that is firearm violence through increased community capacity to (1) address root causes of violence (2) provide those most at-risk access to evidence-based and trauma-informed services and (3) advance equity and racial justice.

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