Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced the eight community-based organizations that will be awarded grants as part of a $1 million violence reduction initiative, under the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery. The initiative will support their efforts to help youth and adults address trauma, health disparities and social determinants, specifically violence, as a public health issue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations will share in a portion of the grant money.
“It is a pleasure to announce the winners of these funds today and commend them on the excellence of Request for Proposals they submitted,” said Mayor Baraka. “They will turn plans into action to enhance the safety of Newark residents in our neighborhoods and school corridors, provide youth life skills classes, outreach teams to help youth recover from trauma, and much more. As this is a national issue, Newark is proud to be leading the way as a model city in innovative crime reduction strategies.”
The groups that will receive the grants, pending Municipal Council approval, are as follows:
- All Stars Project of New Jersey (Citywide): will provide the Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids Program, designed to create new conversations and positive interactions between Newark youth and Newark Police Officers.
- Inspired By U (East and North Wards): will provide arts, music and cultural therapy programming, the Strengthening Families Program and a mentorship/follow-up component for all participants.
- MorStrategies, LLC (South Ward): will provide the New Direction School of Change, which will foster partnerships with vocational, social and leadership vendors to provide currently and formerly incarcerated participants with stipend-based training in fields of their particular interest, as well as mental health and life-skills support.
- Newark Community Street Team, Inc. (West Ward): will expand their current Safe Passage, conflict resolution/mediation and mentorship and relationship building programs beyond the South Ward into the West Ward.
- Newark Opportunity Youth Network (Citywide): will provide youth ages 16 to 24, currently out of school and unemployed, with education and workforce development opportunities.
- Next Generation Project (South Ward): will provide a quarterly curriculum module of weekly lessons, focusing on self and leadership development and prevention of violence for school-age youth in the South Ward.
- The HUBB Arts and Trauma Center (Central, West and South Wards): will provide Newark’s first youth High Risk Interventionists (HRI) and Credible Messengers street outreach teams as well as a youth-focused Trauma Recovery Center.
- Urban Care, LLC (North Ward): will provide youth ages 11 to 17 life skills workshops, mental health counseling, family strengthening support, job readiness, substance abuse counseling, housing services, and conflict resolution.
“The Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery is excited to distribute the City’s first investment in community-based public safety and serve as the City’s clearinghouse for community-based organizations to receive critical funds to address violence as a public health issue in the wake of COVID-19,” said the office’s director, Lakeesha Eure.
“The selection of these awardees demonstrates a strategic commitment by Mayor Baraka and the City’s administration to ensure the availability of community-based violence prevention resources across all five wards,” Director Eure continued.
“This initial allocation marks the beginning of a $20 million commitment over the next three years to joint efforts between community organizations and the Department of Public Safety, as we realize that law enforcement cannot do this work alone,” she added.
With the support of the federal American Rescue Plan funding for Community Based Violence Intervention programming, all the people who applied, the community partners, and the City of Newark, this investment represents a continued effort to prioritize the safety of the City and its residents.