ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission has spent months reviewing applications, trying to decide what local organizations to award grant money to help fight the rise in gun violence.
This week, the commission announced that $500,000 worth of grants will be given to 25 different local nonprofits.
“The violence interruption grants which are two-year grants with sustainable programs that specifically address intervention strategies. It might be youth development focused, it might be mentor focused, it might be education-based, it might be employment-based. And then $100,000 went towards mini-grants which are for this year,” said Chairman Joe Cobb.
One of the organizations is TAP, Total Action for Progress.
One of TAP’s directors, Jo Nelson says the money will be used for violence prevention training workshops.
“We designed a project that will offer three different curriculums that we will be training volunteers and or other youth workers in,” said Nelson.
“One of them is training on mindfulness. We have found that it has been very effective in helping the students deal with crises without resulting in violence,” she added.
Other organizations awarded money were Peacemakers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia and the organization in charge of last year’s “Groceries Not Guns” buyback event.
“We are funding two of those events. One this year and one next year and we know the return on those is going to be really significant and very tangible in terms of getting guns off the streets that could have been used to cause harm,” said Cobb.