Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission questioned over grant amounts awarded

Peacemakers only received 1/5 of the money the organization requested in grants

Roanoke is giving out money to combat gun violence, but one group says it isn't enough.

ROANOKE, Va. – Peacemakers, a Roanoke-based organization, addressed their concerns over Gun Violence Prevention Commission grants awarded earlier this month.

The organization asked for a $50,000 violence interruption grant but was only awarded a mini-grant worth $10,000.

CEO Shawn Hunter voiced his feelings during Monday’s city council meeting.

“I’m asking you all to take a good look at what we are doing with this funding for this violence interruption,” said Hunter.

He emphasizes the importance of his group being in the streets.

He says Peacemakers is the only organization to receive funding that patrols communities most impacted by gun violence.

“You’ve got to go where it’s at. In the streets. And that’s where the peacemakers take it to. We knock on doors. We intertwined with the residents,” said Hunter.

Peacemakers were just one of 37 organizations that applied for grant funding, asking in total for $1 million.

The commission could only have half of that to give.

Leaving groups with less funding than requested and some not receiving any.

“We prioritized those applications that really met those criteria at the highest level and funded those accordingly,” said Chairman Joe Cobb.

Cobb says he believes the commission made the best decisions they could to distribute the grants.

“It’s our responsibility to fund organizations whether they are brand new or have been around for a long time, that met our criteria,” he said.

Cobb says just because an organization was not awarded a grant or did not receive the amount requested, doesn’t mean they can’t try again in the future.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.