Wilmington offering $100,000 in mini grants for public


Applications for mini grants from the City of Wilmington to improve public safety are now open.

The mini grant program is part of a partnership with the Community Based Public Safety Collective to design and implement community violence intervention programs. The grants go to communities most affected by gun violence.

Director of the City’s Community Public Safety Initiative Debra Mason says they are looking for small, active community groups proposing plans or events to interrupt the cycle of gun violence.

“A lot of times, individuals who commit crimes, more often than not, are trying to fill a need,” Mason says. “And we just see the violence, we don’t see the need that was in place to cause that violence. So an individual may have a bill that needs to be paid, so they go out and rob somebody to pay that bill.”

Mason says if they want to take the guns out of the hands of citizens, they have to replace it with something else – productive outlets and opportunities.

There are two rounds of grant funding from the city’s ARPA funds – $50,000 each round for a total of $100,000. An organization can receive up to $10,000, and cannot receive funding in both rounds.

Mason says they don’t expect $10,000 to spark sweeping changes, but says engaging with grassroots organizations will give the city a better understanding of the issues facing struggling communities.

“Ok, you’ve identified that issue, now let’s tap into it,” Mason says. “And this is how a lot of things get fixed in our society is where a smaller organization identifies one issue and then they’re able to get the word out and other people are willing to join in and really address the issue on a bigger scale.”

Round one opened Monday and closes August 31st. The second round opens September 25th and closes October 6th. Applications are available on the city’s website.

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