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INDIANAPOLIS — Organizations that want to reduce crime can ask questions about grants during an informational session Wednesday night.  

The Indianapolis Office of Public Safety will host an informational meeting for those applying for its violence prevention grants program.  

It starts at 6 p.m. at the IBEW building at 1828 N. Meridian Street. 

The grants give organizations funds to strengthen the work they do within the communities to reduce crime. 

The Office of Public Safety is looking for already established programs that have a 501-C-3 and that have plans in place but could use these extra funds to go further. 

This year, they are looking more at intervention and interruption types of services to combat the increase we’ve seen in violence. 

The community violence reduction team is looking for places that offer services that would help those most at risk of being involved in gun violence or other crimes. They want groups that go out into the community and meet people where they are.  

“A lot of people don’t even know about resources available or that there is an opportunity for them to do something different in their lives,” said the Director of Community Violence Reduction, Shonna Majors. 

“So that’s why it’s important to have community organizations that are willing to bring their services to the streets, to the neighborhoods, to the communities, and engage them and let them know that they are there for them. That relationship building is critical.” 

This year, because of the American Rescue Plan, they have more funds to give away grants specifically for mental health.  

“We thought it would be great to have a group of therapists, mental health specialists, addiction specialists to wrap around these people that we’re working with so that they can have the full spectrum of services available to them,” said Majors. 

Any organization with questions about the grant is encouraged to go. 

Since 2018, OPHS has given $300,000 to grassroots violence prevention organizations throughout Indianapolis neighborhoods.  

This year as part of American Rescue Plan dollars approved by the City-County Council, an additional $140,000 will go specifically towards organizations providing targeted services addressing mental health challenges that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and contributed to recent increases in violence. 

Grants ranging from $50,000 up to $100,000 will be awarded. 

When it comes to picking who gets the grants, they partner with IUPUI for its criminal justice and social matters expertise to help grade the applications.  They’ll also do site visits to see how the organizations operate.  

Applications are due at the end of the month on July 31st. Click here to apply