Ruppersberger Secures $750,000 for “Safe Streets” Anti-Violence Program in Baltimore
(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced $750,000 that he requested to expand anti-violence efforts in Baltimore has advanced in the U.S House of Representatives. The funding was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee in a 33-25 vote today and now heads to the full House for consideration.
Congressman Ruppersberger, an Appropriator, requested the funding for Living Classrooms Foundation (LCF), which operates the well-known Safe Streets program in Baltimore’s McElderry Park and Belair-Edison neighborhoods. Living Classrooms will use the federal dollars to provide job training and placement for at-risk individuals, including assembling a team of community members to mediate disputes before they escalate to violence.
The Safe Streets effort has proven results: only four of Baltimore’s 335 homicides in 2020 occurred in LCF’s two Safe Streets zones. The organization last month celebrated a full year with no homicides in the South Baltimore area it serves.
“The epidemic of gun violence in our community requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. This investment will help Living Classrooms Foundation make Baltimore safer by providing its citizens with the tools necessary to address conflict peacefully,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I am grateful to my fellow Appropriators for recognizing the importance of this program and including it in this year’s funding bill. I encourage my colleagues to support it on the House floor.”
“We are grateful to our federal delegation for this important funding which will enable Living Classrooms to support our Safe Streets teams with crisis management services to more comprehensively address violence prevention efforts,” said James Bond, President and Chief Executive Officer of Living Classrooms Foundation. “This will include immediate access to trauma-informed care and workforce development opportunities."
The project is one of nine Community Project Funding Requests submitted by Congressman Ruppersberger in the 12 various appropriations bills for 2022. It is among 2,887 projects submitted by all members of the House of Representatives, only some of which will be approved.
The $253.8 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill funds the Department of Labor and key healthcare agencies including the National Institutes of Health, CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as K-12 and higher education. A summary can be found here.