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KCMO City Council allocates funding to nonprofits working to prevent violent crime among youth

Posted at 8:15 PM, May 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 21:15:42-04

KANSAS CITY, MO — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council and Mayor Quinton Lucas are working to prevent violent crime this summer through new funding.

The city officials joined forces to invest $30 million into violence prevention over five years.

The focus of the funding is to work with grassroots organizations who are out in the community.

“We are all tired of that 'Enough is enough,'" KCMO Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw said. "It’s time that we actually put our money where our mouth is and actually go out and help support these organizations and these communities that are doing the work and are dealing with this everyday."

City officials are encouraging nonprofits to submit a request for proposal by May 22 for the first round of funding that will be distributed.

The funding will go to a large organization, which will share it equally with smaller organizations, with hopes of creating summer programs for youth.

“The first round was $500,000 for a larger administration group, because we recognize in order for us to do this quickly, we need programs that have an infrastructure already established," Parks-Shaw said.

The money being allocated will also help fund the KC Blueprint Plan program approved by the KCMO City Council in 2020.

“The blue print of violence prevention is a road map of how those different sectors can play a role in reducing homicides and violent crime,” Parks-Shaw said.

The money will be evidence-based, and nonprofits will need to meet certain requirements to be considered.

“We want to ensure that we are being good stewards of the tax payers money, and so there will be deliverables they will have to meet and submit for monthly reports regarding the work that they will be doing,” Parks-Shaw said.

The Lyrik’s Institution, a Kansas City nonprofit, plans to apply for some of the funding.

“Just because we give things away for free doesn’t mean it’s free to give it away," said Kyle Hollins, executive director of the Lyrik’s Institution. “We need to get young adults in front of facilitators — the more we can get them in front of the internships and things like that.”

Hollins says his organization works with young adults ages 13-25 in efforts to help them become better adults at an early stage.

“We center on cognitive modification," Hollins said. "We allow our scholars to master in some forms of the creative arts and then we want to offer them paid internships."

Angel Daugherdy is a student mentored at Lyrik's Institution, and says she saw violence at a young age.

“My old past life with my mom being a drug addict, and all that fighting and living in bad situations,” Daugherdy said.

Daugherdy says she a lot of the crime during the summer, a time Hollins says youth can be prone to getting in trouble.

“It was hard to get food, or if like we didn’t have the AC on, or [were] always in a hot house," Daugherdy said. "If we had low money, we didn't get to go anywhere and had to stay in the house most of the time."

Still, Daugherdy is a proud member of the Lyrik’s Institution, and says that she is happy the city is working to prevent violent crime among youth.

“Kids don’t deserve it and there are some really good kids out there that are in horrible situations worse than me," she said. "And they don’t deserve it — they deserve somewhere they can go and run to."