Everytown Will Also Provide Strategic Support Including Peer Convening, Capacity-Building Training, Data and Research Access and Support from Everytown’s Volunteer Networks
TRENTON, N.J. — Today, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF), part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, announced $100,000 in funding for A Better Way, Inc. in Trenton, New Jersey to sustain their work and better position them to access federal funding. The grant is part of Everytown Community Safety Fund’s $2.35 million investment in funding to 35 community-based violence intervention organizations. The Everytown Community Safety Fund, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is the largest national initiative solely dedicated to fueling the life-saving work of community-based violence intervention organizations in cities nationwide.
A Better Way’s mission is to help veterans, those reentering society, at-risk youth and families in need find A Better Way to live. A Better Way provides support to those who need it most, stressing empowerment through education, including exposure to job skills, life skills, and volunteerism. Some of their services include case management, youth mentoring, anger, group, and family counseling, GED assistance, vocation and business etiquette training, and clothing and food banks.
“We are proud to announce the Trenton Community Street Team has been awarded a 2023 Support Grant from the Everytown Community Safety Fund,” said Michael-Sean Spence, managing director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and creator of the Everytown Community Safety Fund. “Trenton Community Street Team’s collaboration with Isles Inc. & Building A Better Way for Trenton reflects a powerful commitment to breaking the cycle of violence via a comprehensive and collaborative approach. With this grant, Trenton Community Street Team will continue expansion of their educational and vocational training programs to support more program participants.”
“We are a community-based violence intervention and prevention initiative designed to prevent the cycle of violence in Trenton, New Jersey. Our theory of change is grounded in a relationship-based approach,” said Perry Shaw, Director of the Trenton Community Street Team and Executive Director of Building A Better Way For Trenton. “This grant will enable us to expand the TCST Initiative and implement the Career Forward program, targeting individuals who have experienced incarceration and are most affected by gun violence in our community.”
“Perry Shaw and the Trenton Community Street Team are doing inspirational work in Trenton and are incredibly deserving of this grant,” said Marcia O’Connell, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The team works at the frontlines of gun violence in our community. Their steady presence and compassion-based work is providing a model for all communities trying to heal the profound damage caused by gun violence.”
As gun violence continues to devastate communities following an exponential increase in recent years, community-based violence intervention programs (CVI) like A Better Way are working tirelessly to sustain their work, working with individuals at the highest risk of shooting or being shot and helping reduce violence through targeted interventions — including street outreach and hospital-based violence intervention — in the country’s most vulnerable communities. These programs are on the frontlines in the cities with the highest gun violence and communities experiencing the disproportionate impact of gun violence. While historic investments have been made at all levels of government, CVI organizations still struggle to access promised funding and when they do, funding is restricted to programmatic expenses, preventing them from increasing staff, building their capacity or scaling to more people and places in need.
Since 2019, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF) has granted $10.6 million in support of 117 community-based violence intervention organizations implementing promising strategies, like street outreach, hospital-based violence interventions and youth development and counseling, in more than 67 American cities. This latest round of Support Grants, currently CSF’s largest grant offering, will provide grant recipients $100,000, in two disbursements over two years, as well as access to CSF’s quarterly calls, peer convenings, capacity-building trainers, national conferences, as well as support from Everytown, and it’s grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, and national partners.
Grantee selection follows a rigorous process administered by Everytown Community Safety Fund staff, as well as Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and an external review panel of experts from across the country, including the Everytown Community Safety Fund Advisory Board, made up of advocates, academics, survivors and city leaders from diverse backgrounds who recognize the critical role community-based violence intervention organizations serve as a component of a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence.