CLEVELAND, Dec. 20, 2023: The City of Cleveland and Cleveland Foundation have announced the first round of programs to be funded through the newly established Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund.

The first $1 million in grantmaking will support 29 grassroots organizations and programs operating in 14 neighborhoods across Cleveland with awards ranging from $7,500 to $60,000. Programs include mental health support, mentoring, athletics, workforce development, multigenerational programming, martial arts, conflict mediation, gang violence intervention, arts, gardening, youth leadership, suicide prevention, and care response for victims of violence.

In the first funding round, Cleveland Foundation received 150 applications totaling $13 million in requests. The applications were screened for eligibility, then evaluated by the Neighborhood Safety Fund advisory committee evaluated applications based on purpose, budget, geography, program areas, capacity, clarity of need, population served, sustainability, connection of mission to community need and ability to leverage collaboration to increase impact. Applications with the Neighborhood Safety Fund listed as the sole funder and those without the proper IRS or MOU status were not eligible.

“We are pleased to get this first round of funding out into the community to help the grassroots organizations doing this important work build both capacity and connections,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “No one organization or entity can solve these problems alone. Our theory of change involves supporting the growth of this entire sector, identifying the gaps that exist and promoting multi-agency collaboration to better serve Clevelanders.”

In addition to funding, all grant applicants, regardless of award status, will be able to take part in learning opportunities intended to raise awareness of the diverse work happening across communities and look for ways to increase support, communication and collaboration.

“During this first round of funding applications we quickly realized how many groups and individuals have been working tirelessly behind the scenes on violence prevention and related issues in our neighborhoods,” said Yvonne Pointer, a community activist and member of the fund’s advisory committee. “This process allowed us to learn about and lift up people who have been dedicated to this work for a very long time.”

The overarching goal of the fund is to provide ongoing support and create a connected ecosystem of programs and organizations that target the root causes of violence, particularly among young people.

Grants made through the fund align with the City’s multi-year, comprehensive approach to violence prevention that includes the work being done through Cleveland Thrive, social support services, cross-sector partnerships and trauma-informed care provided through the city’s 22 Neighborhood Recreation and Resource Centers.

“These grants illustrate a careful consideration of a continuum of activities that are all critical to violence prevention,” said Cleveland City Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “I commend the advisory committee for their thoughtful recommendations and am encouraged to see where we go from here.”

Neighborhood Safety Fund grants are made to eligible 501(c)3 organizations through a semiannual application and review process. Applications for the next round of funding will open early next year. Visit the Cleveland Foundation website for more information or to make a donation to the Neighborhood Safety Fund.

Neighborhood Safety Fund First-Round Grantees: