Ohio offers COVID-19 aid to nonprofits, other agencies to stop violence

FILE - Gun violence
Paul Beaty / AP

By J.D. Davidson | The Center Square

Ohio plans to spend $20 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds money to help fund community-based interventions with the hope of preventing violence and connect crime victims to services.

A year ago, the General Assembly committed $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to first responders to fight issues lawmakers believed increased due to the pandemic, such as increased crime rates.

“There are many great collaborations all over the state that are working to help victims of violent crime and prevent future violence,” DeWine said. “The goal of this new grant program is to help these entities enhance their work and make an even bigger impact.” 

What is the deadline for new grant applications?

Groups and agencies can begin applying for grants now and the window closes Nov. 1. Applicants can apply for up to 24 months of funding and can be back-dated to Sept. 1.

DeWine cited examples that could qualify for funding such as wrap-around services for child victims of violence and their families and civilian-based crisis response teams that support people in behavioral crisis.

Hospital-based violence intervention programs, trauma recovery programs, deterrence programs aimed at high-risk crime offenders, and peer and community support groups that target immediate violence reduction can also qualify.

Of the $250 allocated to first responders, $175 million is earmarked to help state and local law enforcement agencies solve crimes in communities that have seen an increase in violent crimes or struggled to combat violence during the pandemic.

Another $75 million is scheduled for support and recovery of first responders struggling with stressors brought on by the pandemic.

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.

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