City of Philadelphia Awards Close to $17.5M to 39 Nonprofits through the Second Round of Community Expansion Grants | Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety

For Immediate Release: 12/4/2023

Contact: Amaury Ávalos, Communications Director,

City of Philadelphia Awards Close to $17.5M to 39 Nonprofits through the Second Round of Community Expansion Grants;

Enhancements and additions made to the anti-violence grantmaking program based on an evaluation following the first round  

PHILADELPHIA– The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice & Public Safety (CJPS) announced today its next round of grants to organizations working to decrease gun violence through its Community Expansion Grant (CEG) program. A total of $5,950,000 is being awarded to first-time community-based organizations in the program. Grant renewals from the first round of CEG awards were announced in June.

CEG was launched in 2021 as a pilot program to directly fund and support organizations that focus on reducing violence through trauma-informed healing, restorative practices, safe havens, and mentorship. Grant awards for the first round of grantees in 2021 ranged from $100,000 to $1,000,000 and went to 31 organizations, with 28 completing the grant program. Of the original grantees, 24 had their grants renewed.

CEG grants are provided to organizations that have annual operating budgets below $15 million and a proven track record of working in neighborhoods vulnerable to gun violence. By funding established community-based organizations, the City is providing financial support to organizations with a proven track record of delivering quality, culturally relevant services while making sure those applying already have the infrastructure in place to be successful.

Organizations that apply for grant funding can apply for funding in two categories: Safe Havens & Mentorship, and Trauma Informed Healing & Restorative Practices. These categories were identified through feedback from Philadelphia residents provided at community engagement sessions hosted by CJPS, as well as best practices in gun violence prevention.

“I am proud of the work our CJPS team has been doing as they continue to find new and innovative strategies to decrease and prevent gun violence through this grantmaking program,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The first round of CEG grantees did great work and I’m happy to see that the most successful organizations have renewed grants so they can continue the work they started, and I am also excited to see what the new grantees will do.”

The CEG program has been enhanced and improved based on an independent evaluation by organizational strategy partner, Equal Measure, released in June 2023. The evaluation provided overall positive results, and also offered a number of recommendations about how the program could operate in the future.

Based on the recommendations, the City made the following changes:

  • CJPS hired additional staff for the CEG grants team to guarantee grantees are responsibly administering programs with City funds, as well as ensuring that City funds are being disbursed in a way that does not put undue burden on grantees.
  • Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) was selected as the third party fiscal agent to manage efficient and equitable disbursement of funds to grantees.
  • CEG will provide customized technical assistance, provided by ongoing partner The Scattergood Foundation, to organizations, based on an assessment of each individual grantee. This allows for individualized treatment for each grantee and takes into consideration the range of stages that organizations are in. Additional funding is available for customized technical assistance. Equal Measure will continue to serve as the program evaluator for CEG.

“The Equal Measure evaluation provided us with an opportunity to learn from our first round of funding, adapt, and grow to better serve these organizations, who do life-saving work in our communities every day,” said Senior Director of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Cluster, Erica Atwood, “Beyond this, the evaluation proves that we are investing in the right places and that we are identifying the correct partners to join us in stopping gun violence for all Philadelphians. I am incredibly excited to see what this next round of grantees achieves.”

In the selection process for the new round of grantees, CJPS thoroughly examined the feasibility of proposed programming, as well as the ability of the organization to responsibly spend City funds within the contract timeline. Grant applications and proposals were scored on clarity of vision, timely and efficient completion of the project, qualifications of staff, superior prior experience, and budget feasibility.

“As the unpaid executive director of ManUpPHL, I am pleased to know that the Community Expansion Grant will go exactly where it says—to the community,” said Solomon Jones, Executive Director of ManUpPHL. “It will allow ManUpPHL to expand our anti-gun violence mentoring program into the many schools that have requested our presence. It will help us to pay stipends to our participants, help pay for the trips and cultural experiences we provide to them, and help us to train the mentors we need to make our program go. By helping to pay for the staffing and office space that allows us to work both in schools and with adults, the CEG grant will help ManUpPHL to continue to fight gun violence—one life at a time.”

Grant contracts were initiated on November 20, 2023.

Following is a list of new grantees and their awards:

  • 100 Black Men of Philadelphia ($200,000): The mission of 100 Black Men of Philadelphia, Inc. and its partner programs is to educate and empower Philadelphia youth, their families and communities. The grant will go towards continuing and expanding their successful Year One Mentorship program with year-round educational programming and wraparound social services. The grant will also scale up a multi-generational, wraparound services program model that engages families with ongoing educational and social/emotional support services that foster family and student success.
  • ACHIEVEability ($1,000,000): The mission of this project is to provide youth commonly drawn to violent or criminal activities with positive, alternative opportunities to receive gainful employment, skills, and mentorship. The project seeks to foster community cohesion and collective social responsibility among residents, business owners, and other key stakeholders through job training, wraparound services, mentorship, and safe street events.
  • Antioch Christian Fellowship ($650,000): Antioch Christian Fellowship, through its Level Up Philly L.I.F.E. L.A.B. program, will be an advanced STEM/virtual reality training lab and career center specifically designed to address and reverse the systemic educational and emotional neglect, and propensity to violence among our city’s most high-risk young people. The lab provides free STEM education and offers college level and [non-degreed] technical practitioner career pipelines for Level Up mentees.
  • Black Male Community Council of Philadelphia ($300,000): The mission of the Black Male Community Council (BMCCP) is to promote public safety and empowerment in Black communities by employing strategies to stabilize at-risk, violent, and marginalized individuals and neighborhoods. Under the four pillars of their program (clean-up, security, mediation/prevention/intervention, and education/ training/internships) BMCCP facilitates collaborative partnerships between community stakeholders, law enforcement, and faith-based and political leadership to foster safer and more resilient Black communities.
  • Frontline Dad’s Inc. ($175,000): The mission of the Peacemakers project is to reduce gun violence by addressing the needs of the most vulnerable population, African-American American males 18-30 who may be at risk to be a victim of gun violence or a perpetrator of gun violence. Peacemakers exist because we are committed to changing the culture of violence across the city and saving lives. Frontline Dads will address their self-identified needs through our food bank, parenting program, job readiness, entrepreneurship training, support group, counseling/therapy, and case management. Participants will gain an appreciation for life and will improve their self-esteem and sense of commitment to the larger community.
  • Hopeworks ($500,000): Hopeworks is a social enterprise agency that uses technology, healing, and entrepreneurship to transform lives. Their approach is trauma-informed, combined with high-demand, high-wage technical training and paid work experience. Hopeworks also provides complete wrap-around support, providing housing support, mental health assistance, and food access to participants who need it.
  • New View Institute ($100,000): The purpose of this project is to promote safety by addressing the trauma associated with gun violence experienced in the home, that is caused by: anger, domestic violence and grief. NewView will educate underserved residents between the ages of 18 and 35 years old on the dynamics associated with domestic and intimate partner violence in order to decrease the experiences and break the cycle of violence. The goal of NewView Institute is to decrease recidivism, retaliation as well as murder associated with domestic and intimate partner violence and other violent crimes.
  • Kensington Soccer Club ($250,000): The project’s purpose is to save and improve lives through soccer. Our mission is to help each of our teens and young adults to gain the conflict de-escalation skills, self-awareness, hope, and empathy to not want to harm others. It also means helping them find jobs, mental health services, education, food, and housing so they are better able to stay on that path. We accomplish all of the above by harnessing the powerful potential of sports, relationships, real world grounded mentorship, and positive peer support.
  • One Day At A Time/Urban Affairs Coalition ($750,000): One Day At A Time (ODAAT)/Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), Inc is serially invested for over 40 years to break cycles of trauma. Rooted in mentorship (peer support), workforce development, and community development/organizing, ODAAT/UAC seeks to bring awareness, hope, and opportunity; in that order. ODAAT/UAC at its core seeks to save lives and change lives, one day at a time through a holistic array of services rooted in housing, drug and alcohol recovery, outreach, and diversion services. ODAAT’s outreach services, help to cast a wide net in various neighborhoods, bringing to the community team members who look and have been where the targeted population of service are.
  • Police Athletic League of Philadelphia ($700,000): PAL’s entire mission of ‘cops helping kids’ is built on an anti-violence platform of ensuring youth are safe and connecting kids and young adults with resources and positive role models to keep them on the path to success.
  • The Big Picture Alliance ($100,000): Media Futures is a 10-month paid workforce program that prepares youth (ages 18-24) for industry careers while producing films that amplify their voices and uplift their communities. Youth gain 300 hours of hands-on training, learn career and life skills, develop portfolios, attain industry certifications, and produce community-based documentaries under the mentorship of professionals which premiere at the annual Big Picture Film Fest.
  • Unique Dreams, Inc. ($150,000): “No Weapons Formed” is a program that focuses on adjudicated youth and returning male & female citizens. The program is designed to help individuals successfully reintegrate into their communities, reduce recidivism rates, and improve public safety. The process begins while individuals are still incarcerated but preparing for release. The goal is to engage with the individuals before they return home to assist in the transition.
  • Uplift Solutions ($750,000): The purpose of the project is to reduce violence, incarceration, and recidivism through in-community interventions, credible messenger engagement, social service supports, workforce training, job placement, and comprehensive case management.
  • We Love Philly ($175,000): We Love Philly (WLP) empowers underserved youth and young adults to change their future through transformative education strategically designed to teach employable trades, financial literacy, value-driven service, and mindfulness. Students learn employable skills, practice conflict resolution, and build confidence and professional contacts through experience-based courses, volunteer work, and networking opportunities with community leaders.
  • Young Chances Foundation ($150,000): Young Chances Foundation (YCF) provides positive leadership skills and prevents violence among children and youth living in low-income areas of Philadelphia. By providing resources, support, and positive role models, YCF aims to break this cycle and empower young people to make positive choices, build healthy relationships, and achieve their full potential.

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