Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced new funding for Manhattan community-based organizations to work to proactively prevent youth gun violence. For the second consecutive summer, the Office will award $20,000 to up to ten community-based organizations to pay young New Yorkers stipends to participate in meaningful programming or to enhance and beautify public spaces that are known areas for gun violence. Funding will be awarded to community-based organizations that employ people with lived experience and provide hyperlocal programming in neighborhoods most affected by gun violence, including Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, the Upper West Side, and the Lower East Side. The solicitation is available here.
“Combatting gun violence in our communities remains my top priority as District Attorney, and that mission becomes all the more important as we head into the summer months,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Prosecutions alone cannot solve our youth gun crisis: we need to engage young, at-risk New Yorkers, meet them where they are, and give them positive ways to spend their time, earn money, and connect with their neighbors. We were inspired to see so many young people engaged in positive programming last summer and look forward to building on that work. Please spread the word and encourage your local community-based organizations to apply!”
“We must do everything it takes to ensure opportunities that will keep our young people off the street and encourage early workforce opportunities, training, and development to help them achieve and break the cycle of inequality and violence,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “When young people are provided access to opportunities, coupled with support, encouragement, and mentorship, they will achieve. I commend District Attorney Bragg for today’s announcement and each of the community organizations that will partner in this collaborative effort to provide summer youth employment throughout our city. The support we provide today will continue to benefit our young people and our community for years to come.”
“We must use every tool at our disposal to combat the gun violence that is devastating our communities,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James. “One of the most effective ways to stem this crisis is by investing directly in our communities and providing our kids with real opportunities. These funds will make a true difference in our neighborhoods, and I want to thank District Attorney Bragg for his tireless work to protect our kids and our city.”
“I commend DA Alvin Bragg for his steadfast commitment to eradicating gun violence in our communities. Another round of violence prevention grants to support and expand safety initiatives as well as invest in economic and quality of life outcomes for our youth will tackle the gun violence epidemic head-on–addressing underlying conditions and reducing violence in our communities,” said New York State Senator Cordell Cleare. “I applaud the investments being made today by DA Alvin Bragg and appreciate the proactive steps we continuously take in partnership to change and save lives.”
“Youth gun violence is a complex public health crisis meriting comprehensive solutions. Providing positive opportunities for at-risk youth, and allowing them to build relationships with their communities, are vital interventions that help prevent violence,” said New York State Senator Robert Jackson. “I commend the Manhattan District Attorney Bragg for his unwavering dedication to funding meaningful opportunities for our young people to thrive in their communities and have bright futures. ”
“Reducing gun violence takes an all-hands-on-deck approach from our leaders in the criminal legal system to the community organizations on the ground,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “Gun violence interrupter programs are an investment in preventing tragedy and supporting our shared thriving. We encourage organizations from Inwood to the Lower East side to apply today!”
“These funds will be instrumental to addressing the immediate and long-term trauma suffered by victims of gun violence,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Investing in holistic initiatives that support victims’ material and mental health needs is critical to helping communities move forward after traumatic events, and I know Manhattan’s partners will do everything possible to prevent future gun violence.”
“As we approach the summer—the hot zone for gun violence—I applaud D.A. Bragg’s efforts to bring down the heat and offer alternatives for young people,” said New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer.
“Investing in our communities is one of the only effective ways for us to meaningfully combat gun violence within our neighborhoods” said New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “These grants will go a long way in ensuring that our community based organizations have the resources to combat gun violence while providing our youth with opportunities for a different path.”
“District Attorney Bragg is once again demonstrating his commitment to crime prevention and high-impact investments in our communities. Our gun violence epidemic is concentrated among young people, who are likeliest to engage in gun violence or become victims themselves. But having a job, an education, a safe place to be, access to therapy, relationships individuals who care about their wellbeing—these are all protective factors that these grants will generate,” said New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu. “Furthermore, the focus on environmental design and ways that we can construct our city to reduce gun violence is among the best strategic choices our government can make to keep us all safe.”
“District Attorney Bragg understands that safety and justice require investment in our youth and communities to prevent violence and crime before it happens and break the cycle of trauma,” said Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “Empowering our young people through leadership and engagement in their own communities is an evidenced-based approach to reducing gun violence. We are grateful to have a District Attorney in Manhattan who is committed to keeping New Yorkers safe through holistic and equitable strategies.”
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office is providing these awards through its Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (“CJII”), which was created using millions seized in the Office’s investigations against major banks.
Community-based organizations will each receive $20,000 to fund youth gun violence prevention stipends for New Yorkers aged 14 to 26 years old. These organizations will pay stipends to at-risk young New Yorkers who will participate in meaningful, research-driven programming for three months. Programming may include cognitive behavioral therapy, restorative justice, civic engagement, community enhancement projects, job trainings, education, and more. Applicants may also propose to pay young people to complete a space enhancement project that improves the design, functionality, or aesthetics of a public space where violence has recently occurred. For example, proposals could include planting a garden in an empty lot or painting a mural encouraging peace on a corner known for violence. Research shows that physical enhancements to violence “hot spots” can lead to a reduction in gun violence.
Award recipients must demonstrate the ability to work with the D.A.’s Office to identify and successfully engage young people who are at the highest risk of committing or experiencing gun violence. Awards will be made to organizations that have a presence in and deep ties to areas that experience disproportionate rates of gun violence. Award recipients must employ staff with relevant lived experience and provide hyperlocal services to young people currently living in these neighborhoods:
- The 23rd, 25th, 28th, and 32nd Precincts in Harlem
- The 34th Precinct in Washington Heights/Inwood
- PSA 6 in the 24th Precinct on the Upper West Side
- PSA 4 in the 5th, 7th, and 9th Precincts on the Lower East Side
Up to 10 organizations will receive awards for stipends and programming taking place from July 15, 2023, through October 15, 2023. Award recipients must commit to providing participants warm hand-off referrals to programs that offer wraparound supports at the end of the three-month programming.