Grant deadline approaching for Indianapolis groups addressing violence, mental health

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — Community groups addressing violence and mental health challenges in Indianapolis are able to apply for crime prevention funding until Saturday at 11:59 p.m.

The city’s Office of Public Health & Safety is awarding $300,000 community-based crime prevention grants and $140,000 worth of grant funding from the American Rescue Plan for those groups addressing mental health challenges.

“We really want people to know that it is okay to get help,” said Shonna Majors, director of Community Violence Reduction.

Last year, the Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI) was awarded $75,000 from the community-based violence prevention grant program. The money allows them to survey their community to understand the needs.

Clare Pope of CAGI said the data collected helps them direct their many programs.

“It allows people to have the opportunity to redirect away from the experiences or the challenges that lead to violence and crime,” Pope said.

This year, roughly $6.6 million worth of funding is going toward crime reduction, mental health care and supporting youth. The city is accepting applications now for the $300,000 in community-based violence reduction grants and the $140,000 for organizations addressing mental health issues.

Majors said they do not know how many grants they will award as it depends on who applies. The city said the grantees must demonstrate evidence-based methods, use of “national best practices” and data collection.

“We have a panel every year that we reach out to IUPUI professors and graduate students, as well as some community members that serve in an official capacity,” Majors explained.

This panel will review the applicants and score them. Then, they will tour the programs of the grant finalists before deciding who receives them.

“We want to make sure the partners are real. We want to make sure people have safe spaces to operate in.” Majors said.

OPHS said they will be in constant contact with grantees, which includes monthly meetings and providing reports.

“I think the accountability factor has been raised which, you know, I’m happy about because we want to make sure that the organizations have the dollars and the funding,” Majors said. “But we also want to make sure that they’re performing and doing what they said they would do, and that the people receive those funds.”

Click here for more information on the grants.

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