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$2 million heading to York County for violence prevention efforts

The funding for York County makes up one of 25 different violence intervention projects that will be distributed across the state.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Two million dollars in violence prevention funding is headed to York County as part of the Wolf administration's latest efforts to curb rising gun violence in Pennsylvania. 

"It's a step in the right direction," said Jim Tyson, the Project Manager of Group Violence Intervention (GVI), an initiative in York focused on mentoring violence victims.

In a media release sent on Jan. 26, Governor Wolf's office said the money will "support continued collaborative violence prevention and reduction programming focused on identification of at-risk youth, connection to substance use disorder, mental health, mentorship, and community-based services."

The funding for York County makes up one of 25 different violence intervention projects that will be distributed across the state.

Tyson said his program could use additional funds to reach more people in the community.

"As we are talking about some of the mentoring programs, I know...that we have here, currently...maybe one or two people, and you need more when you talk about how many youth there are," he said.

In total, this second round of statewide efforts adds up to $23 million. The Wolf administration already announced in December that it would distribute $15.7 million for 40 different violence prevention projects throughout Pennsylvania. 

Both rounds of grants are part of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“With every life lost due to gun violence, we lose a contributing piece of our future," Wolf said. "These irreplaceable losses are tearing our communities apart. Addressing gun violence at the root, at the community and neighborhood level, is critical. These organizations funded today are changing, and saving, lives.”

According to data from the CDC, firearms killed more than 45,000 Americans in 2020, an all-time high for gun-related deaths.

Pennsylvania is not immune to the increasing gun violence, with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and York all consistently experiencing upticks in dangerous firearm activity. 

These two rounds of grants from the Wolf administration will go toward various programs that focus on reducing community violence. According to the media release sent by Gov. Wolf's office today, those programs can include:

  • Street outreach and violence interruption programs utilizing credible messengers
  • Safe Corridors/Safe Passages programs, which prevent incidents to/from school and other community centers
  • Providing referrals to partner agencies focused on meeting basic needs of participants, including education, employment, health, and other services
  • Comprehensive pre-release and reentry programs for returning citizens
  • Trauma-informed approaches to support victims and survivors of gun violence
  • Youth activities and mentorship

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