Cook County Board OK’s New Round of Community-Based Anti-Violence Grants

Public safety focus continues as a key priority for Preckwinkle administration

Cook County commissioners today approved grants equaling almost $1.1 million for locally based programs dedicated to anti-violence strategies.

The grants, administered by the County’s Justice Advisory Council (JAC), are a cornerstone of President Toni Preckwinkle’s commitment to community-based programs that combat violence. The awards follow a robust vetting through a Request for Proposals process. 

All grant recipients are monitored by JAC staff to ensure they are providing the agreed-upon services to program participants. Throughout the grant period, JAC staff members provide technical assistance, attend site visits of grantees to observe the program in real time, and review and approve quarterly programmatic and fiscal reports submitted by the organizations.  

“Since I took office in 2010, we have awarded nearly $11.5 million in grants focused on addressing violence, reducing recidivism and restoring justice,” Preckwinkle said. “Public safety is a key part of my administration’s policy agenda, and these grants are the best tool we have to invest in community-based interventions that serve those at risk or involved in the criminal justice system.”

Grants of $100,000, or just under $100,000, are being awarded:

  • Westside Health Authority: This grant will fund a program that will provide pre-release case management services to young adults ages 18-24 inside Cook County Department of Correction’s SAVE program. Once released, participants will engage in post-release services such as job readiness, placement counseling and supportive services.
  • New Life Centers of Chicagoland: This grant will fund the Urban Life Skills program that will serve 30 high-risk and justice-involved youth ages 12-24 in the Little Village community. The program includes one-on-one mentoring, gang intervention, sports and wellness programming, as well as wraparound services.
  • Metropolitan Family Services: This program will serve 75 high school students from Harlan High School in the Roseland community. Program components include trauma-informed therapy, peace circles, case management, and college and career preparatory service learning.
  • Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation: This program will provide responsive programming for court-involved males ages 14-24 years old in the Back of the Yards, South Shore, Woodlawn, Austin, Roseland and Humboldt Park communities. Program components include mentoring, life skills, substance abuse groups, peace circles, tutoring and community service projects.  
  • Lights of Zion Ministries: This grant will fund the Bounce Back 2 Life program that will serve 30 individuals ages 16-24 in the Roseland community. Program components include case management, mentoring, educational interventions, occupational training in demand industries which lead to industry-recognized credentials, workforce activities that lead to employment, and follow-up services.
  • The Miracle Center. This grant will fund the Project Innovation program that will serve 75 individuals ages 14-24. The after- school youth-led theater program components include life and professional skill development in the performing arts, with original content production and master artist internships and consultancy. 
  • Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO). This grant will fund the Safe Streets program that will serve up to 90 high-risk individuals ages 14-24 in the Humboldt Park community. Program components include conflict resolution and mediation, intensive one-on-one mentoring, and outreach in surrounding high schools.

Grants of $40,000 were awarded to:

  • Lawndale Christian Legal Center: This grant will fund a program that will serve 150 youth with an average age of 17 in the North Lawndale community with integrated legal and social services. Program components include one-on-one mentoring, after-school programming, job readiness training and employment opportunities, and on-site mental health services.
  • Growing Home: This grant will fund a program that will serve 60 individuals ages 18-60 in the
  • Englewood community. It is a 14-week transitional job training program for individuals with barriers to employment rooted in fieldwork for farming and agriculture. The program includes case management and a comprehensive job readiness curriculum.
  • VOCEL (Viewing Our Children as Emerging Leaders): This grant will fund a program that will serve 96 children and parents in the Austin and West Garfield Park community. The Strengthening Families Approach consists of parents and child interacting in preschool classroom, parent discussion group, and one-on-one home visits.
  • Fathers Who Care: This grant will fund the Too Good for Violence Youth Leadership program that will serve 15 youth ages 10-18 and 10 parent/mentors in the West Garfield Park community. Program components include mentoring, life skills training and community outreach.
  • Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School: This grant will fund a program that will serve 35 high school students in the Humboldt Park community. The Project Home Place program components include workforce development in robotics and bio-engineering and engagement in mindfulness and meditation practices.
  • Prevention Partnership: This grant will fund the Healthy Education Lifestyle Project (HELP) that will serve 30 high-risk youth ages 13-19 in the Austin community. Program components include implementation of an evidence-based Social Norms Marketing Campaign to identify and solve underage drinking, violence, bullying problems, along with career exploration.
  • James Moran Center for Youth Advocacy: This grant will fund a program that will serve 200-300
  • individuals age 21 years and under in the Evanston community with legal advocacy. Program components include restorative justice, integrated social work services and client and community rebuilding.
  • Latinos Progresando: This grant will fund the Peaceful Lives, Peaceful Communities program that will serve 50 individuals ages 13-24 and 180 adults in the Little Village and Pilsen communities. Program components include psycho-educational groups for the youth, domestic violence workshops for parents, a domestic violence awareness campaign called Domestic Balance and a neighborhood Peace March.

Grants of $10,000 were awarded to:

  • BBF Family Services: This grant will fund a program that would expand recruiting services for the re-entry employment program and would serve 36 ex-offenders in the North Lawndale area.
  • Claretian and Associates: This grant will fund the Healing South Chicago program that includes a series of workshops based on adverse childhood experiences and the impact on the safety of residents in South Chicago. There would be six workshops with facilitated discussion breakouts and reports, with a focus on addressing trauma.
  • NEBC Employment Resource Services: This grant will fund a program that would focus on workforce development in the hospitality and food service industries and add a class for adults out of high school, as well as providing administrative support.
  • St. Joseph Services: This grant will fund a program that would focus on after-school programming with mentoring services and summer and winter/spring break camps for youth in Austin and Humboldt Park.
  • Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality (ONE: Northside): This grant will fund a program that will focus on a Youth Leadership Development Program through a civic engagement project to introduce at-risk kids into social change activism.
  • Apna Ghar, Inc.: This grant will fund a program that would focus on supervised visitation and safe exchange services to north and northwest suburban Cook County, and also develop an evidence-based model for enhanced supervised visitation and safe exchange services.
  • H.O.P.E. Organization: This grant will fund a program that would build on their after-school program for youth between the ages of 6-18. The program will include 35 youths and expose them to behaviors that promote anti-violence and positive relationships. It will also include violence prevention programming, homework support, field trips and nutrition.
  • New Covenant Community Development: This grant will fund a program that will support an Entrepreneur Training and Development Program, and expand the youth business program to build partnerships with schools and organizations along with parental engagement.