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Gun violence prevention programming grants now available in Lexington

City of Lexington

Mayor Linda Gorton on Tuesday announced the start of the One Lexington Gun Violence Prevention Grant Program. WUKY's Josh James has details.

“This program provides small program grants directly for Lexington youth who have been affected by gun violence, stipends for volunteer street outreach workers, mini grants to be distributed through schools, and funds for nonprofit violence prevention programs,” Gorton said. “Government’s job isn’t to reinvent the wheel, but to remove barriers and support grassroots people and organizations that are already involved in doing the work of violence prevention.”

The overall goal of One Lexington is to leverage community resources to reduce gun violence involving young people, ages 13-29. “One Lexington has made progress,” Gorton said. “This year, we have 50% fewer homicide victims, ages 13-29, than last year.”

This is the first year for the grants. Gorton put $150,000 into the budget for the program, which will be allocated in partnership with Community Action Council with the approval of the Urban County Council. Nonprofit organizations can apply for grants of up to $7,000 in support.

Devine Carama, Director of the Mayor’s One Lexington program, said, “Lexington has so many grassroots organizations that have been doing the work of violence prevention for years. This will be an opportunity to build their capacity and amplify the impact of many who are already on the ground, doing the work.”

In addition, Gorton announced a $30,000 grant from Cities United, which has been working with Lexington to develop a strategic plan for reducing gun violence. “In developing the plan we identified two gaps in services, victim services and re-entry services. Cities United is helping us bridge those gaps through a $30,000 grant that will be used to support services for victims of gun violence and programs for those who are leaving jail.” Cities United is a national nonprofit organization that works with cities to reimagine public safety.

To apply for the One Lexington grants organizations must have current 501C3 to apply. Help will be provided to organizations that need to apply for a 501C3 so they can apply for the grants program next year.

In addition, One Lexington is partnering with the Kentucky Nonprofit Network to help nonprofits build capacity.

“One Lexington’s hospital-based violence intervention program, Safety Net, violence intervention work group, and mediation efforts are changing lives for the better,” she said. Safety Net is now operating in partnership with Lexington Rescue Mission.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.