Everytown Will Also Provide Strategic Support Including Peer Convening, Capacity-Building Training, Data and Research Access and Support from Everytown’s Volunteer Networks
Philadelphia, Pen. — Today, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF), part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, announced $100,000 in funding for YEAH (Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hanout) Philly in Philadelphia 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.
Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH) Philly is a community-based violence intervention organization that works with teens and young adults in west and southwest Philadelphia, ages 15 to 24 ,who have been impacted by violence. With a special focus on those labeled as having violent histories, YEAH acknowledges teens and young adults as the experts of their own lives and prioritizes pushing back against oppressive systems and addressing structural barriers that often lead to violence. YEAH engages young people in the evenings when most violence occurs with holistic prevention programming including peer mediation and conflict resolution programs, teen-led food and resource banks, teen hangouts, juvenile justice programming, and employment tours and resources.
Last Friday, NFL team Philadelphia Eagles hosted YEAH Philly at their NovaCare practice complex. Teens and young adults working with YEAH Philly met with Eagles running back Boston Scott, were given a tour of the facilities, and one young person was given tickets to the opening season game. Please reach out for more information about this partnership and event.
“YEAH Philly’s tireless efforts to address the root causes of gun violence have had a transformative impact on Philadelphia’s youth and young adults by creating spaces and developing resources that amplify their experience with gun violence and empower them to contribute to building safer communities,” 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. “With this grant, YEAH Philly will be able to sustain staffing for their youth mentorship and leadership training programs, ensuring continued access for current and future program participants across Philadelphia.”
“We founded YEAH Philly in 2018 to create safe and authentic hangout spaces by providing culturally relevant engagement and implementing teen-led interventions to address the root causes of violence, and the need for these individualized supports has only risen in recent years,” said Kendra Van de Water, executive director of YEAH Philly. “This investment from Everytown represents an affirmation of our work and an opportunity to expand our staff and supports for the teens and young adults living in West and Southwest Philadelphia, as we help them get the lives they want and deserve.”
“Organizations like YEAH Philly are critical to our citywide approach to community gun violence prevention,” said Dr. Caterina Roman, a member of the Everytown Community Safety Fund advisory board and professor of criminal justice at Temple University in Philadelphia. “These vital investments from the Community Safety Fund (or Everytown) will help sustain and scale community-centered efforts to make life-saving change happen.”
As gun violence continues to devastate communities following an exponential increase in recent years, community-based violence intervention programs (CVI) like YEAH Philly 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.