Lansing mayor ramps up nonprofit funding to curb gun violence 

Nonprofit groups to expand youth programming with city funding 

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(This story has been corrected to show that Lansing reported 21 homicides in 2020.)

MONDAY, July 26 — The city of Lansing is set to pitch in at least $100,000 to help several nonprofit groups expand summer activities and other programs to keep kids busy and help curb a spike in gun violence, Mayor Andy Schor announced today.

Schor's proposal calls for redirecting an unspecified amount of unspent cash from both the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Parks and Recreation over to several nonprofit organizations within the next three weeks. The one-time emergency funding will be introduced to the City Council later tonight and is expected to be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. 

Schor said at least $20,000  in funding  will be divided among at least six local nonprofit groups including Building Child and Family Initiatives, Mikey 23 Foundation, YMCA of Lansing, Next Young Phenom Foundation, Petals and Pinecones and the South Side Community Coalition.

Another $80,000 in unspent Police Department cash will be used for a Youth Athlete Interaction Program to bolster “positive interaction” between local cops and kids through sports leagues and clinics, including new extracurricular programming through the Lansing School District. 

“We are working together with city partners who have proven success in providing structured activities and mentorship programs that provide options and opportunities for our youth,” Schor said in a recent press release. “Providing additional dollars to further support these important programs is a short-term step that we can take right now to help keep our young people safe.” 

The programs funded by the city are expected to include afterschool mentorship and athletic opportunities, as well as initiatives that focus on the arts, science, technology, math, engineering and entrepreneurship. Additionally, a “Small Community Organizational Fund” of an unnamed size is set to be established this summer for other Lansing-based, youth-focused organizations to apply for additional funding through the Office of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement.  

Participating organizations must use the awarded funds within the city of Lansing and provide proof of expenditures. Application details will be announced in the next few weeks, Schor said. 

At least 15 people have been shot and killed in Lansing this year. Paired with 40 nonfatal shootings and nearly 700 gunshot reports to the Lansing Police Department, the city is on pace to shatter last year’s record-breaking 21 homicides, the highest annual total in at least 30 years. 

Schor’s latest budget also includes $240,000 for a new gun violence prevention program called Advance Peace, which aims to pair at least 25 of the city’s most lethal residents with mentors who can connect them with one-on-one mentorship, social services and local job opportunities. 

Thirty local organizations were invited to submit applications. Responses are due back this week. Interviews will be conducted by the Ingham County Commission next month and a decision will be made in September to kick the program into gear by Oct. 15, officials estimated.

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