CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced a bold program Wednesday to give $1 million in crime prevention grants by the end of this year.

The money will go to organizations across the city that work to fight crime, especially those that focus on young people.

The program is called the “City of Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund.” 

The total available grant money is $10 million, made possible by the federal American Rescue Plan Act, to be spread out over several years.

Mayor Bibb says the plan is to allocate $1 million for the first three years, calling the program a “first of its kind.”

“When we got $512 million from this administration, as a city, we recognized that it presented a big opportunity for us to make some big, bold bets for Cleveland’s future,” Bibb said.

The mayor was surrounded by community leaders, city council members and concerned residents at the Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Recreation and Resource Center on Miles Avenue to discuss the Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund.

“We recognize that police can’t solve this problem alone and that’s why this fund is so important,” Bibb said.

“Even though this is a long-term fund, this $10 million goes into our investment pool and it’s long-term. It will last as long as we can continue to make investments off the dollars. We are going to be fundraising on top of the $10 million,” said Dale Anglin, vice-president for program for the Cleveland Foundation.

The fund will be housed at the Cleveland Foundation.  One million dollars will be handed out for the first three years, then five percent of the balance each year, until it’s depleted.

Community organizations can apply for grants to help fight crime in their neighborhoods. A nine-person advisory panel will decide who gets approved for money and how much.

“A lot of people, they have the right ideas, the mindset, the right heart, but they just don’t have the funds to accomplish the things they want to accomplish,” said advisory committee member Tre’vonte Roey.

Roey says he was chosen for his participation in the “Hoops After Dark” program, sponsored by the Cleveland Cavaliers and championed by Mayor Bibb.

“I just want better for the younger generation, you know? I don’t want the younger generation to experience the things that I experienced when I was younger because I know how that can get, and it doesn’t go too well,” said Roey.

The members of the nine-person committee are:  

  • Habeebah Grimes, mental health professional 
  • Yvonne Pointer, survivor and victim advocate 
  • Tre’Vonte Roey, Hoops After Dark participant 
  • Joyce Pan Huang, director of city planning 
  • Sonya Pryor-Jones, chief of youth & family Ssccess 
  • Angela Shute-Woodson, director of community relations & senior advisor, community and government affairs 
  • Stephanie D. Howse-Jones, Ward 7 councilwoman 
  • Danny Kelly, Ward 11 councilman 
  • Richard A. Starr, Ward 5 councilman 

“We’re not going to police our way out of this,” said Cleveland City Council president Blaine Griffin.

“Once somebody experience trauma, they need support. When somebody’s coming home from prison or incarceration, they need support. When somebody is in the throes of addiction, they need support. If we’re not addressing and not providing the support and investing in that, we’re never going to get to safety,” said Shakyra Diaz, chief of staff for the Alliance for Safety and Justice.

Organizations can apply for grant money starting Monday, Oct. 9, through Nov. 15.

The groups that are approved for the grants will be announced by Dec. 15.