Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Visits Philadelphia as Part of Statewide Safer Communities Tour
Davis Highlights “YEAH Philly” Initiative and “Together Through Trauma” Programming at Philly Rec Centers This Summer
July 13, 2023
PHILADELPHIA – Lt. Gov. Austin Davis continued his statewide “Safer Communities” tour today with a stop at a northwest Philadelphia recreation center to promote mental health services being provided in neighborhoods affected by gun violence and a visit to a southwest Philadelphia nonprofit that provides programming for Black youth and teens.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which Lt. Gov. Davis chairs, provides grant funding for both initiatives.
“This week we’re highlighting the programs and people who are making a difference in our effort to end gun violence and make our communities safer,” said Lt. Gov. Davis. “Governor Shapiro and I believe that government can and should be a force for good in our lives, that we can do big things – if we work together.”
Earlier this year, the Center for Families and Relationships received a nearly $1 million award from PCCD to expand the “Together Through Trauma Program” in neighborhoods affected by gun violence. In partnership with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, the initiative offers trauma therapy, staff training and community workshops at six recreation centers. PCCD grant funding is expected to benefit an additional 3,000 youth, families and residents in Philadelphia.
YEAH Philly is a nonprofit organization based in Southwest Philly that provides a safe hangout location for Black youth and teens. The organization’s violent crime initiative has received support from two PCCD grants, allowing them to offer comprehensive support to young individuals involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system, as well as those affected by street or gang violence. Their services include court advocacy, psychoeducational workshops, school support and mental health therapy. To date, more than 290 individuals have benefited from YEAH Philly’s programming, supported by PCCD grant funds.
With the Safer Communities tour, Lt. Gov. Davis is highlighting PCCD-funded efforts that are working to address gun violence and make our communities safer. The tour has visited Pittsburgh and York, and it will also travel to Allentown, Wilkes-Barre and Erie.
VIP funding from PCCD supports grants and technical assistance to address community violence throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on preventing and intervening with gun and group-related violence. The state budget passed by the House and Senate would provide $40 million total for VIP grants. This infusion of resources would help PCCD support effective community-based initiatives.
Today Lt. Gov. Davis also joined a community conversation in Philadelphia hosted by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey with community and faith leaders and parents who have lost children to gun violence.