Louisville offering grants to non-profits for violence reduction programs in high-crime neighborhoods
Restoring houses and restoring people. That's the mission of a program called "Jesus and a Job."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A house renovation is bringing needed repair and needed work into one of Louisville's poorest neighborhoods.
With new siding and a plastic covered front window the tan home near 22nd and Howard Streets clearly looks like a work in progress and if you ask Aaron Elliott, so are the men and women putting it together.
"I got off on the wrong path, ended up going to the penitentiary," Elliott said. "It's done kept me out of trouble and I reached out to some of my friends to bring them in and helped them turn their lives around."
Elliott works with the Jesus and Job program. The non-profit is a sister project of Rev. Charles Elliott's King Solomon Baptist Church. Jesus and Job uses housing restoration to restore people in West Louisville by putting ex-cons to work repairing abandoned or blighted homes. Arron Elliott is Rev. Elliott's cousin.
The latest home improvement project transformed what was once a boarded up, spray painted eyesore in the community. That home was the backdrop Thursday as leaders from various west Louisville groups announced a 10-point violence reduction plan, which ultimately comes down to one thing: crime reduction.
"When you're broke and you got a family then robbing and stealing is your occupation," Rev. Elliot said. "We got all these organizations that have good ideas but have no money."
After a record year of murders in Louisville, 117 in 2016, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said, "The organizations here today may have an opportunity to apply for a receive some of that funding."
Louisville set up a new fund through its Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods department to grant money to non-profits who take a, "public heath approach" to reducing violence.
It's aimed at developing programs designed to help people ages 14 to 24 in the city's highest crime areas: Russell, Shawnee, Newburg, Parkland, and the California neighborhoods
"I think this is seed money toward a safer community," Conrad said.
But the city may need to plant more seeds. Safe Neighborhoods only has about $150,000 to award in grants. Rev. Elliott says the city needs much more.
"We need to do at least $10 million in the west end with these 10 groups, Elliott said. Much like the home at 22nd and Howard...a work in progress.
Click here to apply for one of the new grants from the Safe Neighborhoods program, and click here to read the group's 10-point violence reduction plan.
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