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15 Lexington grassroots organizations receive funding to curb gun violence

Officials gather to deliver grant funds to grassroots organizations in Lexington
City of Lexington
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Lex TV Youtube
Officials gather to deliver grant funds to grassroots organizations in Lexington

Fifteen organizations that work to reduce violence in central Kentucky are receiving grants from ONE Lexington.

During a press conference on Monday, One Lexington Director Devine Carama said the organization’s goal to address youth and young adult gun violence relies on their partnership with many grassroot nonprofit organizations.

“Our job is not to solve gun violence as government. Our job is to remove disparities or address disparities, remove barriers so the community can solve this issue.”

This is the third year for the grant program. The City estimates approximately 1,200 young people were served by programming funding by last year’s grants.

Carama said while this money helps there is another question that needs ONE answering while working with these groups.

“How do we build the capacity of these grassroots organizations so that they can thrive so that they can be sustainable beyond just this ONE Lex grant? How can we help them build their 501c3? Many of the organizations that applied had to use a fiscal sponsor because they didn't know how to get their 501c3.”

A 501c3 allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations that meet the code's requirements.

Organizations submitted applications for the funding through Community Action Council, which vetted each proposal and recommended organizations for funding.

The 15 organizations represent a variety of approaches to helping young people. Following are the organizations that received funding:

· Charlotte Court Inc. (CCI) - Targets elementary and middle school students who struggle academically, behaviorally, and/or socially. CCI will host camps, summer programs, and workshops, incorporate sports, and host guest speakers on important matters.

· Community Inspired Solutions - Will offer anti-violence workshops and speakers, diet and nutrition classes, financial literacy classes, arts and crafts classes, stop the bleed, babysitting certification classes, and a host of other activities.

· Exhilarating Inc. - Provides safe structured and holistic environment and programs, which educate, empower and promote social and emotional development. It enables participants to acquire and develop new skills, build self-confidence, and have fun doing it.

· FoodChain Inc. - Engages youth in paid internships through our Bluegrass Urban Farm Friends program. Will provide meaningful opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and community engagement.

· HEARTS for Basketball - Strives to break the cycle of marginalization and unlock pathways to success for young adults and at-risk youth in the Lexington. Through tailored programing, it will provide access to quality education, skill building, and mentorship opportunities.

· Casa de la Cultura Hispana de Lexington - The Joven Noble and Girasol Rites To Passage Program will target middle and high school students, and youth in the juvenile justice system. 12 weeks of “Circle Keeper” sessions will culminate in a Rites to Passage ceremony.

· Kentucky Center for Grieving Children and Families - Will create a series of grief-related programs in partnership with local churches and community-based non-profits to create a safe space for children and teens to talk about and process their emotions related to their death losses.

· Kentucky Foundation for Black Women and Families - Will employ workshops on conflict resolution, peer medication training, violence prevention sessions, guest speaker and panel discussion, life-skills development workshop, and youth leadership and advocacy initiatives.

· Lexington Raven Football – Will utilizing Trust Based Relational Intervention and Positive Youth Development methodologies to promote discipline and respect on and off the field, leadership development, team-building skills, mentoring, and violence intervention strategies.

· Lexington Leadership Foundation - Program will teach how to understand and promote personal and community safety and success (Service), skill-development (Education), address past and current trauma (Discovery), and envisioning new possibilities (Exposure).

· Lexington Rescue Mission - Will provide crisis care, case management and support to individuals and family members at high risk of being the target of potential gun violence or individuals at risk of engaging in gun violence.

· MPower Rhythm - Drumming intensives and workshops will teach basic rhythms and familiarize student with the process of ensemble drumming; and provide an outlet for creative expression and emotional release; as well as teach teamwork, and an ability to concentrate.

· NAMI Kentucky - “Ending the Silence” help youth learn warning signs of mental health conditions, and steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition. This engaging presentation will be offered in all Fayette County high schools.

· Operation Making A Change (OMAC) - Will provides mentorship, coaching, and support to teens and adults to enhance self-awareness in order to break the cycle of problem behavior and make sustainable behavior change. It also seeks to enhance respect, discipline and accountability.

· Resolve Fitness - Youth will be exposed to a “Lifestyle Fair” where they will learn from others in the fitness industry. Programming will empower those who are overcoming adversity, by providing mentorship, executive coaching, and personal development.

· Trauma Informed Counseling Center (TICC) - The I.M.P.A.C.T. Project is designed to provide trauma-informed clinical mental health service to juvenile from identified at-risk areas of Fayette County, and their caregivers; and will conduct local support groups.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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