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St. Clair County awarded $1 million grant to create youth violence prevention plan


BELLEVILLE — Mark A. Kern, St. Clair County Board chairman, today announced receipt of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that targets youth violence prevention.

The grant, submitted in the partnership with United Way of Greater St. Louis, supports the efforts of East Side Aligned — the collective impact movement within greater East St. Louis working to advance policy and support for children and youth. Through the two-year grant, St. Clair County will convene community partners to develop and implement a comprehensive youth violence prevention plan for the municipalities of Alorton, Centreville, East St. Louis and Washington Park.

“I am pleased to lead an effort that moves beyond planning to implementation with the potential to positively impact the lives of children in Metro East communities” said Kern.

Funding from the grant will be used to plan and implement strategies to improve school and public safety; address and treat trauma and toxic stress for children and families; build systems to support out-of-school activities and youth employment; create platforms to support youth voice, engagement and leadership.

“It is critical that we make the safety and well-being of children and youth a top priority,” said Evan Krauss, director of East Side Aligned. “We are thrilled to work with Chairman Kern’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice in this effort to provide young people with healthy and safe environments.”

In addition to St. Clair County and United Way, the effort will engage support partners and stakeholders across multiple sectors, including the Metro East Police District Commission, St. Clair County’s States Attorney’s Office, Children’s Home + Aid, Community Development Sustainable Solutions and East St. Louis School District 189.

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