Anti-violence groups applaud new funding for prevention

These organizations are essential to any gun violence reduction plan because they have direct links to the communities where the epidemic is having the most impact, the activists said, and must be treated that way, whether the group is. known or not.

“Just because the name might not be there doesn’t mean the organization isn’t working,” said Terrez McCleary, founder of Moms Bonded By Grief.

In August, McCleary’s group takes dozens of children affected by gun violence on a three-day retreat in the Poconos, where they will have the chance to speak to a trauma counselor, as well as deal with their feelings with parents and children who are intimately familiar with the frustration and grief that accompanies shooting a loved one.

McCleary, who started the organization after her daughter was shot and killed in South Philadelphia in 2009, said demands continued to pour in for the fledgling program, forcing her to consider limiting capacity this year and to launch an appeal for next summer.

“It’s getting too expensive,” she said.

Moore understands. His group raised funds to start a training program for at-risk young men to learn carpentry. The 20-week academy, which will pay participants a stipend, will also tackle mental health issues and provide mentoring opportunities, which gave a young Moore a sense of direction while his father was incarcerated. .

Moore said any kind of outreach requires funding, especially if paired with the promise of social services or a niche in a job training program, things that can help inspire people to consider bringing in. positive changes that could make them disappear from the reticle.

“Nobody’s going to just show up and say, ‘Hey, I’m at risk,’” Moore said. “We have to go to these neighborhoods, get dirty, roll up our sleeves and help these people. It takes money.

It is unclear how funding for community groups will be disbursed under the new agreement. Those details – and others about the plan – will likely become clearer after the budget is passed, which is expected to happen next week.

But Tyrique Glasgow, who runs the Young Chances Foundation in South Philadelphia, said those details are everything. The additional funding is promising, he said, but it’s nothing without a strategy to ensure that the money is spent in a way that results in real and measurable change in a city struggling with violence. relentless army.

More than 950 people have been shot dead in the city so far this year.

“I want to see lives saved now,” Glasgow said.

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