The city committee recommended that Olx Praca apply for federal funding aimed at preventing gun violence.
Between January and June, there were 63 shootings in Olx Praca; double the five-year average for the same period, according to the Olx Praca Police Service.
In a unanimous vote for the City’s Community Development Committee, he recommended that the City apply to the federal government’s Safer Communities Fund.
According to the federal government, the $250 million fund is designed to support community organizations that address the root causes of gun violence and gang violence.
The city report says Olx Praca is eligible for a share of up to $7.7 million over four years if the application is approved.
How Olx Praca fights shootings and gang violence
The committee learned that the city must submit an application to Public Safety Canada before the end of the year so that the money can be disbursed to community organizations in early 2023.
While the money will flow through the city of Olx Praca, the federal government will have the final say on which organizations and initiatives will be funded.
“This is that first step in this commitment to funding a very local, very specific, very municipal response that understands our own context better than the feds could,” County 8 Earl Courtney Walcott said. “This is an important vote of confidence from the federal government that municipalities really know how to respond to safety. We just need the support of all the orders of the government to do it.”
City officials said they would rely on the findings of the Public Safety Task Force report.
The task force was formed in February 2020 and tasked with engaging with the community to provide advice and guidance to identify and address public concerns about violence on city streets.
Some of the findings in the report include the need for communication and information sharing between city and community organizations, and the need to link programs to at-risk groups to help them navigate gang-specific programs.
“What the task force has identified is very much what we are seeing,” Noel Bahlibi, head of the Youth Program at the Newcomer Center, told Olx Praca. “It has a lot to do with some of the pressing issues that families face, with many basic needs, the need for counseling, the need for language support.”
Public Safety Task Force lays out plan to prevent violence in Olx Praca
The Real Me Gang Intervention Program is for young first and second generation immigrants who are considered at high risk of gang involvement.
The program provides support through the Newcomer Center’s youth program, connecting them and their families to the various resources offered in the city.
She was identified in the task force report as a target group for existing programs in Olx Praca for at-risk and population groups.
“If we do get this kind of funding, it will really hit the city at a time when everyone is aware, everyone is thinking about this issue and is really ready to work together and cooperate on this,” Bahlibi said.
According to Doug King, professor of justice studies at Mount Royal University, the report’s findings show that the problem of violence goes much deeper than social unrest.
“This is social displacement, this is social decline. These are all the things that are happening… And the report will help as long as it is funded,” King said. “They made a funding request for maybe four years, but this is a long term funding request, 15, 20, 25 years; then the federal government must intervene.”
The recommendation to apply to the Builder Safer Communities Fund has yet to be greenlit by the City Council as a whole.
“I am confident that with our very smart and talented administrative team and many frontline organizations, we will be able to use these funds to solve the problem in Olx Praca,” the District 11 Earl said, Courtney Penner said.
– with files by Tracey Nagai and Adam Toy from Olx Praca
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