NewsCovering Kentucky


15 Lexington nonprofits awarded grants for violence prevention

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 17, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For the third year, One Lexington awarded its violence prevention grants to a number of local nonprofits.

This year, 15 grassroots organizations active in violence prevention will receive some of the $100,000 given in grant money to continue their efforts.

Recipients range from grief-related programs to support for incarcerated youth.

All 15 recipients work in different capacities, but the goal remains the same: Encourage kids to be safe, make good choices, and enjoy a bright future.

During the announcement Monday afternoon, members of Operation Making A Change, or OMAC, shared their appreciation for the award.

The organization provides mentorship and support to break the cycle of problem behavior by preaching self-awareness, respect, and discipline.

Founder Gerald "Geo" Gibson talked about the impact of the grant money.

“I stand here to let you know this is constantly an uphill battle, this is nothing easy to do, but with funding and support from the community, we are able to be in a position to help kids face whatever they're going through, whether it's hunger, gun violence, homelessness, substance abuse, you name it,” said Gibson.

The 15 organizations represent a variety of approaches to helping young people. The following are the organizations that received funding:

· Charlotte Court Inc. (CCI) - Targets elementary and middle school students who struggle academically, behaviorally, and/or socially. CCI will host camps, summer programs, and workshops, incorporate sports, and host guest speakers on important matters.

· Community Inspired Solutions - Will offer anti-violence workshops and speakers, diet and nutrition classes, financial literacy classes, arts and crafts classes, stop the bleed, babysitting certification classes, and a host of other activities.

· Exhilarating Inc. - Provides safe structured and holistic environment and programs, which educate, empower and promote social and emotional development. It enables participants to acquire and develop new skills, build self-confidence, and have fun doing it.

· FoodChain Inc. - Engages youth in paid internships through our Bluegrass Urban Farm Friends program. Will provide meaningful opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and community engagement.

· HEARTS for Basketball - Strives to break the cycle of marginalization and unlock pathways to success for young adults and at-risk youth in Lexington. Through tailored programming, it will provide access to quality education, skill building, and mentorship opportunities.

· Casa de la Cultura Hispana de Lexington - The Joven Noble and Girasol Rites To Passage Program will target middle and high school students, and youth in the juvenile justice system. 12 weeks of “Circle Keeper” sessions will culminate in a Rites to Passage ceremony.

· Kentucky Center for Grieving Children and Families - Will create a series of grief-related programs in partnership with local churches and community-based non-profits to create a safe space for children and teens to talk about and process their emotions related to their death losses.

· Kentucky Foundation for Black Women and Families - Will employ workshops on conflict resolution, peer mediation training, violence prevention sessions, guest speaker and panel discussion, life-skills development workshop, and youth leadership and advocacy initiatives.

· Lexington Raven Football – Will utilize Trust Based Relational Intervention and Positive Youth Development methodologies to promote discipline and respect on and off the field, leadership development, team-building skills, mentoring, and violence intervention strategies.

· Lexington Leadership Foundation - Program will teach how to understand and promote personal and community safety and success (Service), skill development (Education), address past and current trauma (Discovery), and envisioning new possibilities (Exposure).

· Lexington Rescue Mission - Will provide crisis care, case management and support to individuals and family members at high risk of being the target of potential gun violence or individuals at risk of engaging in gun violence.

· M'Power Rhythm - Drumming intensives and workshops will teach basic rhythms and familiarize students with the process of ensemble drumming and provide an outlet for creative expression and emotional release, as well as teach teamwork and an ability to concentrate.

· NAMI Kentucky - “Ending the Silence” help youth learn warning signs of mental health conditions, and steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition. This engaging presentation will be offered in all Fayette County high schools.

· Operation Making A Change (OMAC) - Will provide mentorship, coaching, and support to teens and adults to enhance self-awareness in order to break the cycle of problem behavior and make sustainable behavior change. It also seeks to enhance respect, discipline and accountability.

· Resolve Fitness - Youth will be exposed to a “Lifestyle Fair” where they will learn from others in the fitness industry. Programming will empower those who are overcoming adversity, by providing mentorship, executive coaching, and personal development.

· Trauma Informed Counseling Center (TICC) - The I.M.P.A.C.T. Project is designed to provide trauma-informed clinical mental health service to juveniles from identified at-risk areas of Fayette County, and their caregivers; and will conduct local support groups.