Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $800,000)
The Community Foundation of Washington County respectfully requests Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($800,000.00) to develop the Greenville Safety Collaborative Project in Greenville, Mississippi (with a specific focus on the Central Business District neighborhood in Census Tract 000600 of the 38701 area code, an area that has been designated an Opportunity Zone by the State of Mississippi and currently maintains a population of 2,986 persons), which will be utilized as a mechanism to develop and sustain a broad sector partnership team to leverage community knowledge and expertise with the goal of building a healthier community. Specifically, an increasing number of individuals no longer view the safety of their neighborhoods as the sole responsibility of the local police department, and they are uniting to work with their local government, neighborhood residents, community-based non-profits, workforce development organizations and community stakeholders to identify and remove the sources of crime, drug use, and youth delinquency in their communities. With this framework in mind, the Greenville Safety Collaborative Project goal is to verify chronic violent crime micro-hot spot locations, identify strategies to reduce crime (particularly related to drugs, gang and gun violence), engage community stakeholders in trust building with the City, law enforcement and other partners, and to identify specific strategies to reduce crime. The Greenville Safety Collaborative will design and implement data gathering activities involving the examination of existing crime and administrative data and will gather the perspectives of the residents who are most affected by Greenville’s crime rates, which will probe the root causes of crime in the Central Business District. This project will include Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training and practices, to include residents and police, with the goal of understanding the impact of place and crime, and how collective action to transform places such as blighted properties, run down parks, and commercial districts from a place where residents stay away from, to positive epicenters of activity, is critical for systematic and sustainable change. Greenville Safety Collaborative Project partner, the Washington County Work Ready Association, will serve as the Lead Community Partner for the proposed project and will house the full-time Project Coordinator. Additionally, Local Initiatives Support Corporation will serve as lead on project management and bring their extensive expertise and capacity building regarding comprehensive responses to crime and safety challenges to local partners.