BALTIMORE — Those on the front lines battling violence every day across Baltimore are anticipating a shot in the arm in the form of funding.
Groups over the summer openly expressed their serious need for an avenue providing an access point for secure funding.
“We cannot continue to work with scraps and peanuts to and continue to put our life on the line,” said Dr. Chico Tillman of the Fund Peace team over the summer.
That call earlier this summer was answered as a part of the $1.9 trillion package from President Biden‘s American rescue plan.
“This infusion of investment is necessary and quite frankly well-overdue,” said Shantay Jackson, the Director of MONSE.
She will be over seeing the fund, and for her the cause is personal.
“My partner when he was 19 years old got off the bus to go to his mothers house and was shot inches above his heart. My son when he was 20 years old got off the bus to walk home from work and was shot,” Jackson shared.
About $16.5 million per year will go toward trauma informed care training, wraparound services for crime victims and support for community-based organizations providing harm reduction.
“Community violence intervention organizations that are already on the ground doing the work but not getting compensated to do it,” Jackson listed.
Last month MONSE launched a Grant portal to guide groups hoping to access thousands in grant dollars.
“We are ready to create the systems and the structures necessary to unearth and unroot those things that cause violence to begin with,” Jackson said.
Another component of the fund will go toward supporting formally incarcerated individuals in their efforts to re-enter Baltimore with a better quality of life, a part of the cities Returning Citizens Behind the Wall Initiative.
“Returning citizens that come home to Baltimore there are approximately about 1900 of them every single year. Between the first and third year about 45 percent of them either wind up shot dead or re-incarcerated,” Jackson told WMAR-2 News.
That program will provide assistance with obtaining proper identification required to gain city employment like a Social Security card photo ID and birth certificate.
All of the resources are centered around the goals laid out in the mayors plan to reduce violence earlier this summer.
“His goal is my goal to reduce homicides in our city by 15 percent year over year and that’s something we’re looking forward to doing,” Jackson said.
For information on how to access grant funding visit Monse.Baltimorecity.gov and click on the ‘grant opportunities’ tab.