Governor JB Pritzker has announced opportunities for organizations to apply for an additional $100 million in grants to fund gun violence prevention programs in municipalities across Illinois.
This funding, part of the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA), will support nonprofit community-based organizations and local governments in 16 municipal areas outside of the City of Chicago as they work to prevent and interrupt gun violence in their communities.
This $100 million builds on $113 million in funding made available in May as well as $10 million in funding surged to Chicago and other areas of the state in advance of the summer.
“This administration is delivering historic levels of violence prevention funding to interrupt violence and keep our communities safe,” said Pritzker. “I am grateful for the thoughtful work of our Local Advisory Councils in recommending community-specific solutions that can get at the root causes of firearm violence. This funding will support on-the-ground work from people with the community knowledge and passion necessary to make substantive change.”
IDHS continues to accept applications for the $113 million in funding made available in May for violence prevention services in Chicago and youth development services statewide. Across funding sources, nearly $240 million in funding has already been committed to youth development and violence prevention efforts statewide for fiscal years FY22, FY23, and FY24. In addition to RPSA/ARPA funding, committed efforts also include ongoing funding to youth development and youth employment providers, an expansion in summer youth development services, and a unique youth engagement pilot program through Chicago Public Schools.
This new investment in Greater Illinois comes after the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) convened Local Advisory Councils (LACs) in each of the 16 RPSA eligible municipalities to make recommendations to the OFVP on how to allocate violence prevention resources in their communities. From these recommendations, OFVP designed a comprehensive Greater Illinois Funding Strategy to meet the violence prevention needs of each municipal area, taking into account local recommendations, service provider capacity, and area need.
The grants announced today will be awarded by the OFVP and will go to programs in Illinois municipalities with less than 1,000,000 residents that are disproportionately impacted by violence, based on a data-focused approach to prioritizing the highest need areas of the State. RPSA programs are specifically designed to address populations that are at high risk of perpetrating or becoming victims to firearm violence.
The OFVP is releasing the $100 million in three new direct service Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs), available in RPSA-eligible municipalities in Greater Illinois.
Violence Prevention: For programs that include street intervention, victim services, case management, and other engagement and wrap around support services for those at highest risk of harming or being harmed by gun-related violence.
Trauma Informed Behavioral Health Services: For programs that include mental and behavioral health interventions that address trauma recovery and other mental health improvements, specifically to mediate the high correlation between family adversity, trauma and violence, and subsequent involvement in gun-related activity.
Youth Intervention Services: For programs that include mentoring, employment skills development, life skills development, assistance with accessing education/vocational programming and employment, as well as other activities that promote positive engagement for high-risk youth ages 11-24.
“This historic funding is about putting resources where they are needed, with the stakeholders who are the wisdom in the room—the organizations and workers providing vital services in impacted communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “These grants will support programs that identify root causes and the best ways to address them, as well as elevating assistance for the trauma gun violence creates. Public safety, as well as the well-being of Illinois residents throughout our state, is a top priority.”
“Reduction in violence is a top priority for all of us,” said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, IDHS. “These innovative programs supported through this unprecedented time reflect local priorities and help to prevent criminal behavior through interventions, which provide participants with the necessary resources to resolve conflicts in a non-harming way.”
“This round of funding is another step toward making every single community safer across the State,” said Chris Patterson, Assistant Secretary, Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. “The latest investments being made to address violence in Illinois have the potential to be so impactful. We all have a responsibility to address gun violence trauma and to prevent it.”
“This round of funding will make a difference in the lives across some of the most vulnerable communities in the state,” said Illinois Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago). The more programs we have to support our youth, the better chance we have at disrupting gun violence. These grants allow us to continue supporting residents most at risk of committing violent offenses by meeting them where they are to prevent crime from happening in the first place. I want to thank our partners at the state for their continued efforts to provide public safety for all and not the few.”
“By advancing these programs, we are working to build more productive, safe communities, which in turn, will have lasting impacts on the lives of their families, the socioeconomic health, and well-being of our state,” said Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago). “By getting returning citizens into the workforce, we’ll lower unemployment, increase self-sufficiency and reduce recidivism, all while holistically developing underserved communities.”
“It was an honor to work with my neighbors and leaders in my community to deeply consider what our city needs to address community violence,” said Michael Isaacson, Executive Director of the Kane County Health Department and Local Advisory Council Member from Aurora. “Addressing this challenge will require commitment from every corner of our community and we are working to direct important resources to where they are needed most.”
“Community violence is one of the most complex challenges faced by Rockford,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “I am grateful to the State for devoting these important resources to our communities and taking the time to gain our local perspective to inform their funding approach. These dollars will have a positive impact on the quality of life in our community.”
The RPSA is a multi-pronged approach to violence prevention that calls for research-backed services including summer and afterschool programming, job training and placement, high-risk youth intervention services, violence interruption, case management, trauma-informed mental health care supported by Medicaid, and more.
Interested organizations are encouraged to use the free IDHS resources, including navigator and technical assistance programs, webinars, and GATA app to assist with the application process. These resources are available at www.DHS.illinois.gov/Grants.
Additional information about these grant opportunities can be found at www.dhs.illinois.gov/rpsa.