With a skyrocketing rise in the city’s homicide rate, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Director Linda Harllee Harper are inviting District residents and community-based organizations to apply for up to $5,000 in Building Blocks DC Grants, administered by the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) to support activities and programs aimed at creating a safer DC. However, interested parties will need to act fast as the deadline to submit the six-page application is 5:00 p.m. this Friday, April 15.
“The goal of these grants is to empower the community,” Mayor Bowser said in a written announcement just released yesterday. “We know that solving issues of violence requires a whole-of-community approach. With these grants, we’re supporting people who have deep roots in our community, who understand the challenges we face, and who are passionate about saving lives and building a safer DC.”
OGVP, in partnership with Progressive Life Center and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, is providing grants of up to $5,000 to reduce gun violence in neighborhoods. This grant opportunity is for community-based non-profit groups and organizations, clergy groups, individuals, or small businesses in the District to propose creative services related to community wealth, healing, and revitalization. Previous grantees have provided activities related to leadership development, healing and mental wellness, neighborhood outreach, block cleaning, direct intervention, and more. Communities most impacted by gun violence will be prioritized.
“We know that the work of gun violence prevention requires collaboration with residents to be effective,” said Director Harllee Harper. “These grants continue our promise to connect our community partners with the resources they need to keep doing this important work.”
A shocking 227 people were homicide victims in D.C. last year, up from 198 people killed in 2020. It was the fourth consecutive year of rising homicides. And although the homicide rate appears to be down so far this year, the overall violent crime rate is up a staggering 28% according to data from the Metropolitan Police Department.