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Grants available for programs that will reduce community gun violence in Colorado

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Lindsey Toomer

(Colorado Newsline) Colorado’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention opened up applications for grant funding available for grassroots and nonprofit organizations working to prevent gun violence within the state.

The grant funding will go to Colorado-based organizations whose gun violence prevention initiatives offer evidence-based promise of reducing violence in their communities.

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Office spokesperson Kacie Henderson said this means programs will use strategies that are proven to either increase protective factors, which reduce the likelihood of violence, or decrease risk factors, which are more likely to lead to gun violence.

Up to 10 organizations can receive up to $100,000, with $500,000 in total funding allocated. Last year, the program awarded $550,000 to a few dozen organizations. Those previously awarded grants under the program include Colorado Ceasefire, Bridge to Justice, the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, the 20th Judicial District attorney’s office, Families Against Violent Acts, the Gang Rescue and Support Project, and the Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Project.

“We want to make sure that Colorado communities are equipped to address gun violence through education, training and community-based initiatives,” Ned Calonge, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “That’s why the Office of Gun Violence Prevention has chosen to implement a grant program that is responsive to firearm-related suicide as well as interpersonal violence and community violence in our state.”

The office encouraged organizations that serve the its priority communities most at risk for gun-related suicide or homicide to apply for the funding. Organizations can use the funding for community education and training programs on gun safety and responsibility, mental health and substance use resources, and gun laws.

The program has two paths through which organizations can apply. The first will be for programs that would reduce access to guns and provide education on temporary and safe storage for guns for those at risk of harming themselves or others. Those who apply through the second path will have programs focused on community violence prevention and intervention strategies, such as hospital or community intervention programs working directly with those at risk, or violence interruption programs immediately after a shooting.

Other examples of potential programs listed on the grant’s wesbite include classes for firearm owners on safe storage and locks, therapy, grief or trauma services for survivors of gun violence, and education programs on extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag laws.

Interested organizations have until 5:00 p.m. May 17 to apply for the program through the office’s website.

Colorado Newsline is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.