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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Applications for a first round of crime prevention money for Indianapolis neighborhood groups will open next week.

Indianapolis has had a violent-crime grant fund for years, but money from last year’s pandemic relief bill allowed the city to quadruple funding for the next three years. Not counting administrative costs, Indy will have $14 million a year to steer to organizations with ideas or programs for addressing underlying causes of crime, from poverty to education.

Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for the grants last August, as part of a $150 million anti-crime package approved unanimously by the City-County Council.

The Indianapolis Foundation will open applications for the grants next Friday, and will host workshops to walk organizations through federal eligibility criteria and advise them on how to present their proposal. Applications are due by May 1, with the foundation planning to award $5.5 million in grants by July. A second round of $8.5 million will be announced later this year.

Alicia Collins, the foundation’s director of community leadership, says the grants are focused specifically at the neighborhood level. She says the most effective anti-crime programs take place where organizers have firsthand knowledge of their community and its problems. And while the foundation hopes to see new and innovative ideas, Collins says some effective programs may fly below the radar of city or state leaders because they’re locally organized, from mediation centers to neighborhood crime watch programs.

With the expansion, the Violent Crime Reduction Grants are getting a name change, to Elevation Grants.