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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Five Indianapolis groups which work to stop crime before it starts are getting city money to expand.

It’s the second year of a $300,000 annual city grant program for organizations which fight crime not through neighborhood watch or other conventional approaches, but by trying to address root causes. Each of the five groups will receive $60,000. Indianapolis public health and safety director Paul Babcock says it’ll allow them to scale up their efforts and serve more people.

Three of the five recipients — RecycleForce, Violence Free Living, and Step-Up — focus on helping former inmates reenter society. Step-Up has already branched out into trying to help low-income teenagers before they go to prison in the first place. Reentry services director John Cocco says the grant will allow Step-Up to double its reach from 20 students to 40.

Also receiving grants are Youth Employment System Indy Reengagement Centers and VOICES. While YES offers job training to young adults, VOICES’ targets are even younger. The arts organization works with elementary and middle-school pupils to use painting, music and poetry as anger-management outlets.

26 organizations applied for the grants. 

The Central Indiana Community Foundation is taking applications for two more weeks for nearly three-million dollars in similar crime-prevention grants.

(Photo: m-gucci/Thinkstock)