Neighborhood Safety Fund Presser

Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund announces first $1 million in grantmaking to grassroots violence prevention programs

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2023

CLEVELAND (Dec. 20, 2023) – Today the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Foundation announced the first round of programs to be funded through the newly established Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund.

The first $1 million in grantmaking will support 29 grassroots organizations and programs operating in 14 neighborhoods across Cleveland with awards ranging from $7,500 to $60,000. Programs include mental health support, mentoring, athletics, workforce development, multigenerational programming, martial arts, conflict mediation, gang violence intervention, arts, gardening, youth leadership, suicide prevention, and care response for victims of violence.

In the first funding round, Cleveland Foundation received 150 applications totaling $13 million in requests. The applications were screened for eligibility, then evaluated by the Neighborhood Safety Fund advisory committee evaluated applications based on purpose, budget, geography, program areas, capacity, clarity of need, population served, sustainability, connection of mission to community need and ability to leverage collaboration to increase impact. Applications with the Neighborhood Safety Fund listed as the sole funder and those without the proper IRS or MOU status were not eligible.

“We are pleased to get this first round of funding out into the community to help the grassroots organizations doing this important work build both capacity and connections,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “No one organization or entity can solve these problems alone. Our theory of change involves supporting the growth of this entire sector, identifying the gaps that exist and promoting multi-agency collaboration to better serve Clevelanders.”

In addition to funding, all grant applicants, regardless of award status, will be able to take part in learning opportunities intended to raise awareness of the diverse work happening across communities and look for ways to increase support, communication and collaboration.

“During this first round of funding applications we quickly realized how many groups and individuals have been working tirelessly behind the scenes on violence prevention and related issues in our neighborhoods,” said Yvonne Pointer, a community activist and member of the fund’s advisory committee. “This process allowed us to learn about and lift up people who have been dedicated to this work for a very long time.”

The overarching goal of the fund is to provide ongoing support and create a connected ecosystem of programs and organizations that target the root causes of violence, particularly among young people. Grants made through the fund align with the City’s multi-year, comprehensive approach to violence prevention that includes the work being done through Cleveland Thrive, social support services, cross-sector partnerships and trauma-informed care provided through the city’s 22 Neighborhood Recreation and Resource Centers.

“These grants illustrate a careful consideration of a continuum of activities that are all critical to violence prevention,” said Cleveland City Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “I commend the advisory committee for their thoughtful recommendations and am encouraged to see where we go from here.”

Neighborhood Safety Fund grants are made to eligible 501(c)3 organizations through a semiannual application and review process. Applications for the next round of funding will open early next year. Visit the Cleveland Foundation website for more information or to make a donation to the Neighborhood Safety Fund.

About the Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund 
The Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund is a long-term fund created in June 2023 by Cleveland City Council Ordinance 486-2023. The first-of-its-kind fund was seeded with a $10 million investment from the City of Cleveland. The fund was established as a donor-advised fund of the Cleveland Foundation, which will allow it to exist in perpetuity, investing in evidence-based interventions and solutions to promote safety across the City of Cleveland.

Neighborhood Safety Fund First-Round Grantees
A Vision of Change ($40,000)
Agape Renaissance Center ($7,500)
Balance Point Studios ($15,000)
Beat the Streets ($45,000)
Building Hope in the City ($50,000)
Elements of Internal Movement Eternal Pull Inc. ($15,000)
Embody Youth Academy ($35,000)
Fathers Against Violence ($45,000)
Ghetto Therapy ($45,000)
God’s Vision Foundation ($15,000)
Greater Cleveland Interfaith Alliance ($60,000)
Icons ($45,000)
Impact Youth Basketball ($40,000)
Jarvis Gibson Foundation ($25,000)
Jalen's HOPE ($27,000)
M-Pac Cleveland ($20,000)
Mt. Sinai Ministries ($45,500)
New Era ($25,000)
New Sardis Primitive Baptist Church ($37,000)
Project Lift Behavioral Health Services ($37,000)
Reading Ramm ($20,000)
Refugee Response ($20,000)
Renounce Denounce ($45,000)
Sankofa Circle ($35,000)
Shiloh Baptist Church ($45,000)
Shooting Without Bullets ($45,000)
Special Deeds ($21,000)
Spread the Love Foundation ($50,000)
Together We Rise ($45,000)