DC grant program aims to stop gun violence at the grassroots level

D.C. leaders are encouraging residents to take advantage of the Building Blocks DC grant program, which is aimed at curbing gun violence in the district and it’s putting the resources needed to help transform communities into the hands of residents.

“Crime has never been down, crime has always been up in this community — 922 people got shot last year, and we’re on track to surpass that this year,” said Ward 8 Council member Trayon White.

White has been working alongside other local leaders to create the new grant program as they deal with the aftermath of a problem that he says has plagued the city for decades.

“There’s been a drought in the community when it comes to violence prevention,” he said.

The program allows anyone in the community with a good idea to apply for a grant up to $5,000 and businesses can receive up to $50,000.

It supports anything from the arts and activities to skill-building programs and restorative justice support. Community beautification and engagement are also major focuses of the program.

“You can have a chess program, a double Dutch program, a cheerleading team — just have a great idea to do some positive activities in the community,” White said.

The goal is to change the narrative and empower people.

“We have to get the resources out of the government and to the community,” he said.

You can apply for the grant online.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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