Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced last week that $150,000 would be going to nonprofits that offered violence reduction strategies. A nonprofit could receive up to $5,000 for their work; the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Advisory Board will issue recommendations for who receives the grant awards throughout this month and August.
In a press release, Cooper asserted that this would allow communities to achieve safety solutions tailored to their local needs, particularly for gun violence.
“Community safety requires a community effort,” said Cooper. “This work takes all of us, supporting one another and learning from each other. And it takes Metro government, championing that response and investing in the strategies that work best for our neighborhoods.”
Metro Nashville City Councilwoman and CSP board member Jennifer Gamble asserted that this approach would make communities safer.
“Investing in and supporting the groups on the front lines of creating community-based solutions for violence reduction will make our city safer,” said Gamble.
A leader on the advisory board and previous committee vice-chair for the mayor’s Policing Policy Commission, Sharon Roberson, explained that this would be an initial round of funding open to grassroots organizations.
“This first round of funding is intended to support grassroots organizations working to enhance community safety and reduce violence,” said Roberson.
Cooper launched funding for the community safety initiative in March. As The Tennessee Star reported, Cooper organized 11 community members in May to form the CSP Advisory Board. Cooper tasked their group with providing funding recommendations for over $1.5 million in grants within the CSP Fund.
The CSP Fund has a total of $3 million. On top of that, the city council voted to add $1 million last month for a pilot program in North Nashville called “Cure Violence.” The program uses a violence interruption approach, using mediation and targeting high-risk individuals and groups to prevent violence. It also rallies community support and response when violence does occur.
The city plans on disbursing more funds in August. Those will be larger implementation grants, ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 or more.
Applicants for this first round of grants must present a certified audit from the most recent fiscal year.
– – –
Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mayor Cooper Press Conference” by Nashville.gov.