As expected, city council members also approved the purchase of 100 police Tasers over the course of five years from Axon Enterprise, Inc. — $214,091 for the first 50, and up to $235,500 for the next 50.
CHAMPAIGN — City council members this week unanimously signed off on distributing $2,314,005 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to nine local organizations, Round 2 of Champaign’s Community Gun Violence Reduction Blueprint.
“Although this is our second allocation, it’s for work that is already being done in the community,” Mayor Deb Feinen said, “and this is just a recognition that all of these entities followed through, they did what we hoped that they would do over the first year and they are getting … increased funding to continue that amazing work.”
Carle Foundation Hospital: $200,000 for its hospital-based intervention program, which calls for a social-work team working 24/7 in the emergency room and working alongside another blueprint partner, the Trauma and Resilience Initiative, “to connect impacted individuals and families with essential resources,” city staff wrote in a memo prepared for this week’s meeting.
“These resources, aimed at addressing underlying risk factors for violence, include services such as: emergency/transitional/relocation housing, healing and emotional support, conflict mediation, legal and victims’ rights assistance, health advocacy, and other necessary long-term safety planning support.”
Champaign County Crime Stoppers:
$100,000 for its illegal-gun bounty program. The two rounds of funding has helped the local nonprofit increase its cash rewards — from $1,000 to $2,500 for anonymous tips that lead to the arrest of an individual using a firearm during the commission of a felony in Champaign County.
The reward jumps to $5,000 for tips that lead to the arrest of an offender using a gun in a homicide.
DREAAM Academy: $216,000 to continue its Hope for the Future program, launched last year. It focuses on free to low-cost wellness programming (for 100 children at Garden Hills Academy every Saturday), community-based gang prevention (for 12 Black male middle-schoolers “in and/or at risk of being in the mental health and juvenile justice systems”) and intensive services (for “disconnected/out of school youth” between the ages of 14 and 18).
East Central Illinois Youth For Christ:
$106,000 to continue providing youth development programming to Unit 4 students through the “Lunch Crew” initiative. The tech mentoring program meets during lunch periods at five Unit 4 schools, engaging youth “through applied learning activities in radio controlled motorsports and sound design engineering.”
Through the program led by the Rev. Willie Comer, 30 to 50 students each are served at five schools: Edison, Franklin and Jefferson middle schools and Centennial and Central high schools.
The Trauma and Resilience Initiative:
$452,704 to “use trauma-informed, strength-based approaches and other community defined methods to provide culturally, ethnically and linguistically responsive outreach and engagement services to individuals, families and communities affected by violence,” according to the council memo.
$686,841, with the funding split between two programs. The biggest chunk ($473,110) goes toward non-mandated peer mentoring, in which formerly incarcerated individuals are trained on how to become mentors to other formerly incarcerated individuals through the organization’s GoMAD (Go Make A Difference) program.
The other $213,731 of FirstFollowers’ allotment will be used for its community re-entry program.
The Housing Authority of Champaign County: $150,000 for its YouthBuild program, serving 15 at-risk and disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth and other disconnected youth populations.
$117,331 for its “Lovin U Tour,” described in the council memo as “an educational enrichment and gun violence prevention program that is designed to continue exposing and connecting young people to a pathway of career opportunities and leadership development. The program equips students with dreams, confidence and skills necessary to pursue their aspirations, all while fostering relationships across diverse social groups to prevent social tensions that can lead to conflict and violence.”
Stephens Family YMCA: $285,129 for Y on the Fly, which offers summer rec programs in communities throughout the city for children who are “socioeconomically and geographically disadvantaged” and after-school programming at the Y’s Springfield Avenue location for students in grades K-5.