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OPHS awards violence prevention grants

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The Office of Public Health and Safety (OPHS) announced the most recent round of Community-Based Violence Reduction Partnership grants will go to Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC), VOICES, RecycleForce and Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI).

Each organization will get $75,000 to support violence prevention programs and wraparound services.

Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the recipients — which came from a pool of nine applications — Aug. 18 at Frederick Douglass Park by saying the city needs to put as much emphasis on violence prevention as it does on punishment.

The announcement came just a few days after Hogsett announced federal law enforcement agents will be in Indianapolis to focus on violent crime through Operation Legend.

RecycleForce provides transitional employment and other services for those involved in the criminal justice system, with a focus on building job skills and helping with job placement.

EMCC provides prevention case management and other services for young adults between 18 and 24 years old who are referred from the Youthful Offender Unit of the Marion County Superior Court Adult Probation Department.

VOICES will use its grant to support Power and Promise, its peer mentor and youth leadership program that trains elementary and middle school students from communities that have similar levels of trauma.

CAGI is focused on poverty and will help people in need through existing programs, as well as new programs such as emotional regulation training and cognitive-based therapy.

Applicants had to partner with other organizations for their proposals.

Shonna Majors, the city’s director of community violence reduction, said each of the four organizations chosen represents a different focus that, when put together, will make for more effective violence prevention, intervention and interruption.

“All three of those components are critical to the work because we can’t do prevention without intervention and without interruption,” she said.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

Representatives from RecycleForce accept a check for $75,000 from the Office of Public Health and Safety for crime prevention programs and wrap-around services. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)

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