Pa House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton presented $764,886 of state funding to organizations and schools to combat gun violence in Southwest and West Philadelphia. The grants come from Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Gun Violence Reduction Program. Representative McClinton joined the House in 2015. She was the first woman and first African American to be elected as House Democratic Caucus Chair. Her district, 191, includes part of Delaware County, and Parts of Philadelphia County. While all of these organizations are in West Philadelphia, they are still beneficial to the Southwest Community.
The City of Philadelphia as a whole has seen an increase in crime and gun violence over the past year. In the first 9 months of 2021 alone, there have been 366 homicides due to gun violence. People of all ages, genders, races, etc, have been victims of gun violence. McClinton says
“No one should fear for their life when they step outside of their door or worry if their child will make it back safely when they go out to play. However, this is the sad reality we face in our communities as gun violence soar”
Philadelphia residents are suffering through two epidemics: Covid-19, and gun violence. COVID-19 has put a lot of stress on people leading to violence. In addition, the stay at home orders and reduced capacity in shelters left many residents in dangerous situations, either at home with an abuser, or on the streets.
McClinton hopes to use the funding to invest in our communities, schools, and organizations. The funds will be distributed to four different groups.
- $225,000 for Community of Compassion Inc, a faith based group that provides community resources and after school programs.
- $219,886 for Dr. Bernett L. Johnson Sayre Health Center to support a Cobbs Creek Community Center, which will be used to train members of the community and the members of Sayre High School.
- $95,000 for Muslims for Humanity CDC, a group that helps to keep the community on the right path. The funds will be used for outreach workers, mentors, and violence interrupters. Muslim Brothers and Sisters have been under great pressure due to recent world events.
- $225,000 for the School District of Philadelphia. They will use the funds to hire staff at four of its schools- including Motivation and Sayre High Schools, to increase safe routes and transportation options for students.
This variety of organizations will help many different people in separate ways, which will lead to the decrease in gun violence. One of the best ways to prevent crime is by funding community organizations. Between the four groups, there are a plethora of community resources, after school programs, training programs, and safety protocols. When residents are left to fend for themselves for health care, food, housing, child care, they are more likely to either do something they normally wouldn’t, in order to survive. Representative McClinton’s allocation of funds is putting state funds back into the community.