Ingham County officials announced that they will pause the implementation of a new program aimed to curb gun violence in the area.
The delay in Advance Peace, the program meant to curb the spike in violent crime, according to city officials, is due to lack of participation from community organizations.
When the program was initially launched, the officials invited approximately 30 organizations to apply for a total of $265,000 in grant funding.
The funding for the grant is meant to allow up to 25 individuals to enroll in a personalized 18-month fellowship that provides job opportunities, counseling, and provide monthly stipends of up to $1,000 to individuals who are active in the program.
However, by the end of the application timeline, only two nonprofits applied to receive the funds for the fellowship.
According to Ingham County Controller Gregg Todd, the timeline to apply for the program was not long enough, as it was only open for three weeks.
“Typically, projects like this one are issued for a minimum of four weeks, so that potential proposers have ample time to respond and to ask questions,” Todd wrote in an email, noted by The Lansing State Journal. “In hindsight, the shorter time frame may have discouraged some vendors from responding, especially considering some of the anticipated proposers were smaller, grassroots organizations.”
Gun violence has continuously affected the city of Lansing. According to The State Journal, the city is on pace to break a record for gun violence. Specifically, Lansing has seen 13 homicides already in 2021, compared to only five at this point last year.
Because of the violence, Erica Lynn, co-founder of The Village Lansing and one of the groups to apply for the grant, detailed disappointment with elected leaders.
“Truth be told, I’m extremely disappointed,” said Lynn. “I’m disappointed that this is where we are at with this process.”
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