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City of Newport News awards more than $1.75M in gun violence prevention grants

The announcement comes as the city's latest effort to deal with gun violence through community outreach

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Tuesday, Newport News city leaders announced new funding for 19 anti-gun violence initiatives with the goal to introduce alternatives, and resources that will hopefully reduce crime in the city. 

The 19 chosen recipients come from a pool of 28 applicants, who will split grant funding totaling more than $1.75 million worth of investment, which comes from a combined pool of state and city investment. 

“It goes back to that it’s not one solution, it’s a plethora of ideas and organizations. One solution won’t fix domestic violence, gang violence, or issues on social media of de-escalation," Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew told 13News Now before the announcement.

The 19 initiatives range from youth mentorship, increased physical activity, de-escalation practices and other community outreach efforts. 

“We are a music education organization but we recognize we are also a key safe space for students," said Carol Minter, the executive director of Soundspaces, one of the 19 grantees. 

In the case of Soundspaces, Minter and her team were awarded more than $60,000 to expand their after-school music program.

“We’ll be able to serve more students in that very important and vulnerable middle and high school age group," she said.

This summer, the city has seen several violent acts of gun violence, including a double homicide at a 7-Eleven in the Kiln Creek area of the city, as well as a string of three overnight shootings earlier this summer. 

City officials also said the city has invested more than $9 million toward youth and gang violence prevention since 2014. 

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