The next round of Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) grants through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia (CFCG) is now open, and churches and nonprofit organizations can now apply. Up to $600,000 form Macon-Bibb County is being made available to help reduce and prevent violent crime, and the Executive Leadership Team met at the Robert S. Train Center on March 15 to look at the past year.
“There is no greater, or more challenging, task than addressing the issue of violent crime in our community. Neither myself, nor my administration could possibly do this work alone,” Mayor Lester Miller told them at the start of the meeting. “Violent crime does not occur in a vacuum, and the interventions proven to be effective are collaborative efforts that bring all stakeholders to the table, especially the community. This is why collaboration is a foundational principle for MVP, and why the expertise and input of this team is so important.”
They took a high-level review of the efforts that have been part of the MVP program, including the $800,000 provided to organizations to fund a variety of programs, the demolition of nearly 500 blighted structures and units, filing suits against hotels and stores that are centers of violent activity, ShotSpotter, new equipment for the Sheriff’s Office, the strengthening of the Code Enforcement Department, and more.
The group then broke into small groups to discuss what they knew of the community’s needs, what they considered to be working or not working, and what should be a focus for the coming year. All agreed that the solutions needed to be long-term and focused on children and families to help break cycles. The CFCG will take what the Team discussed and use it to help determine which groups will receive funding this next year, and how much.
“I thank you for your service and your commitment to working collaboratively to address and, ultimately, prevent violent crime in Macon-Bibb County. We all know that if this work is to be successful that it is going to take consistent, sustained effort on all our parts,” added Mayor Miller. “As you all know, this work is the work of a lifetime. We didn’t get here overnight, and we’re not going to solve the problem overnight.”
“We’re already seeing a positive impact from the work that’s being done by our current grant recipients,” said Kathryn Dennis, President of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. “The feedback we’re getting and stories we are being told by the families themselves – of how much these services are needed and appreciated – show us how much we need to continue this going forward.”
In order to be eligible for the next round of MVP funds, organizations must submit an application by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31. For more information about MVP and how to apply, click here.