Providence wants to spend up to $1.6M on violence prevention

October 12, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to spend up to $1.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to establish nonviolence training and youth mentorship programs to address an increase in violence in the city.

The city recently opened requests for proposals for both initiatives, planning to allocate up to $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for training and up to $1.1 million for mentorship, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday.

Elorza said the idea began taking shape in May when nine people were injured in a shooting.

“I reached out to some community leaders, sort of on the front line of things, and I asked them to put me in contact with families, mothers who had lost children, people who were either on parole or on probation, but were trying to turn their life around, and other folks who are on the front lines of living and working with these issues,” Elorza said.

It became clear that the city was in need of more opportunities for youth, he said.

There have been 20 homicides in the city this year. The five-year average for this point in the year is 11.