ECS Approved for $874k Violence Prevention Grant

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s (PCCD) School Safety and Security Committee has approved a total of $40 million in Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) grant funding for 64 organizations working to address the epidemic of gun violence.  

As part of this important funding effort, Episcopal Community Services was approved for a grant of $874,042 to launch a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization project focused on violence prevention through residential block cleaning and workforce development in West Philadelphia.  

Under the approved grant, ECS will solicit and review proposals to partner with an organization focused on affordable and sustainable solutions to keep Philadelphia clean, in an investment prioritizing residential blocks surrounding ECS’ St. Barnabas Community Resource Center for revitalization and workforce development programs.   

The work will be completed by dedicated crew members earning living wages, providing employment opportunities for those with barriers to work. Crew members will also have access all of the programs that ECS offers that address poverty, including the MindSet program and the coaching services available through its financial management, housing, and career development staff.   

Project activities will also include community engagement and outreach efforts, such as door-to-door interactions, community gatherings, and additional activities to build support and awareness.   

Since the VIP Grant program began in 2021, 256 projects across the Commonwealth have been approved for a combined total of approximately $185 million in grant funding to prevent, interrupt, and reduce gun and group-related violence, helping to make Pennsylvania communities safer.  

“We are glad the PCCD sees the importance of this work. The evidence is clear that a clean city is inoculated against gun violence and we feel our collaborative efforts will have a demonstrable positive impact on community safety amidst Mayor Parker’s inaugural term in office, said Rhena McClain, Senior Director of St. Barnabas.  

“When ECS opened St. Barnabas as a community resource center, we heard from our neighbors loud and clear that gun violence was a top concern,” observed Anne Rice-Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of ECS. “This funding is further evidence that ECS hears you, we have adopted gun violence as an advocacy issue, and we are here with you for the long-haul.”  

State Senator Vincent Hughes, Councilmember Curtis Jones, and Representative Morgan Cephas will formally award the grant to ECS at a later date to be determined.