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Federal, state funding heads to Brooklyn anti-gun violence programs

April 28, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Gov. Kathy Hochul this week announced more than $6.3 million in federal funding that will allow seven programs — including two in Brooklyn — to expand their anti-gun violence work and increase critical services for victims and families.

Administered by the New York State Office of Victim Services, the two-year grants will fund outreach staff to connect with victims and families, crisis responders, licensed social workers and other staff, as well as training, equipment and emergency funding for essential items such as clothing, housing and transportation expenses.

In Brooklyn, Elite Learners will receive $1.5 million, while Kings Against Violence Initiative will receive $980,000.

Elite Learners, a youth development organization started in Brownsville in 2016, sponsors athletic and educational activities.

Kings Against Violence Initiative, located in Central Brooklyn, sees gun violence as a public health problem in low-income communities, and seeks to connect to youth in schools, communities and hospitals, building their self-esteem.

An image from Brooklyn-based Elite Learners Facebook page. Facebook photo

The Community Violence Intervention Act annually designates a portion of the state’s federal Victims of Crime Act funding for programs serving communities hardest hit by gun violence. This investment builds upon the Office of Victim Services partnership with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which funds social workers and case managers at 12 state-supported outreach programs.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “One of the best ways to reduce gun violence is by increasing the resources to experienced local organizers and groups who have the relationships to prevent violence and to de-escalate dangerous situations. I am proud to deliver over $6 million in federal funds for Community Violence Intervention programs from Buffalo to Brooklyn to help avert incidents of gun violence before it happens by showing young people there are opportunities for a better future.”

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn-Queens) said, “Gun violence threatens and affects all of us, especially our children … I thank Governor Hochul for designating $6.3 million in federal funding, including $1.5 million to Elite Learners and $980,000 to Kings Against Violence Initiative right here in Brooklyn, to expand anti-gun violence programs and provide much-needed support and services for victims and families.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Sunset Park-Gowanus-Prospect Heights-Crown Heights-Brownsville) said, “Gun violence is a complex problem in need of comprehensive solutions. I, along with former Assemblymember and now Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Richardson, sponsored the Community Violence Intervention Act because violence interruption groups have a proven record of stopping the cycle of violence before it starts and addressing the most immediate needs of victims, survivors and communities.”

Mayor Eric Adams said, “There are many rivers that feed the sea of gun violence and we must dam them all. The NYPD has already removed 2,300 guns from our streets this year alone, but even a single gun can inflict a demonstrable amount of pain on New Yorkers and create new victims of gun violence every day.”

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