DC Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted her budget proposal’s $59 million investment in reducing gun violence and building safer neighborhoods in the next fiscal year at an event at the Douglass Community Center on Monday.
“We don’t want people out on our streets involved in gun play. We want them involved in jobs, and school, and enjoying life with friends and family. And we know that is what our residents most at risk of violence want too,” Bowser said.
“These investments in Building Blocks DC will support not just a whole-of-government approach to building safer neighborhoods, but a whole-of-community approach. This work is urgent, and by making the right investments we can save lives and send a message to our residents that, together, we can, we must, and we will do more to reduce gun violence,” she added.
The mayor’s budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2022 includes:
- $11.4M to support returning citizens with financial assistance through community-based organizations, financial coaching, and peer navigators as they transition back into the community
- $7.8M for additional violence interrupters and $400K for additional credible messengers
- $13.8M for youth safety initiatives, including an expansion of Safe Passage, out-of-school activities for youth, and enhanced training for school resource officers
- $6.8M for DBH, DDOT, and DPW to respond to non-emergency 911 calls for mental health distress, minor traffic crashes, and parking complaints
- $5.6M to create 110 dedicated employment opportunities through the Department of Public Works for individuals at risk of gun violence
- $4.5M for DC Pathways to serve an additional 100 individuals at risk of gun violence and $4.6M to provide more wrap-around support services including Pathways Champions positions for at-risk individuals, Project Empowerment support services, intensive care coordination, housing assistance/relocation, and transportation support
- $3.4M to add 100 new slots for MPD’s cadet program
- $1.9M to expand trauma-informed mental health services
- $2.2M for temporary safe housing for residents involved in gun violence
- $1.5M for community investment grants to carry out neighborhood action plans in focus neighborhoods
The budget proposal has a historic investment to support returning citizens with the $10 million in flexible funding to reentry service providers. Through the program, the District will provide funding to community-based organizations to support returning citizens.
“We know that the daily challenges that returning citizens face were further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OVSJG Director Michelle Garcia about the planned investment. “This flexible funding, provided through community-based reentry service providers, will provide critical support to assist with reintegration, avoid homelessness, and reduce recidivism.”