ST. PAUL — Communities affected by COVID-19, especially communities of color, received $8 million in short-term Coronavirus relief grants. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (DPS-OJP) distributed the grants to 74 recipients to help youth and young adult violence intervention efforts, crime victim services and community COVID-19 response.
“The overwhelming response to the CRF grant is a testament to the needs throughout the state, especially underrepresented communities,” said DPS Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges. “The grantees who were awarded funds offer hope and help to many communities struggling to help address issues compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
DPS-OJP received 134 applications requesting more than $19 million of the available $8 million. The 74 grants were awarded to organizations that support services including:
- Violence prevention
- Technology enhancements
- Basic needs
- Emergency housing
- Personal protective gear
- Domestic violence survivor support
- Distance learning
- Mental health services
“COVID-19 has created great uncertainty for many Minnesotans especially for our most vulnerable,” said DPS-OJP Director Kate Weeks. “The CRF grants provided additional resources to communities impacted the most.”
Funds were available for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency from September 1 through December 30, 2020.
Priority for funding was for agencies serving the largest percentages of disproportionately impacted communities. This includes communities already facing racial, health, and economic disparities.
Several examples include:
- Austin Aspires, distance learning assistance
- Violence Free Minnesota, domestic violence emergency assistance
- Pillsbury United Communities, distance learning an internship assistance
- Red Wing Youth Outreach Program, supporting at risk youth with distance learning
- YMCA of The Greater Twin Cities, emergency housing and distance learning assistance
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (DPS-OJP) provides leadership and resources to reduce crime, improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, and assist crime victims. To accomplish this, OJP administers grants, provides training and technical assistance, provides research and data, works to protect crime victims’ rights, and provides reparations benefits to victims of violent crime.
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