FILE - In this file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) Gov. Tom Wolf
FILE - In this file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The current year’s state budget includes millions for two grant programs aimed at preventing violent crimes before they happen.

In an effort to prevent gun violence before it even begins, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday funding for two grant programs aimed at fighting violent crime.

At a playground in a Philadelphia neighborhood marred by gun violence, Wolf, along with lawmakers and advocates, announced $100 million in funding for the programs, which are part of a record funding package for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“Pennsylvanians deserve to live their lives without gun violence-induced fear. With continued creativity, investments and partnerships, safer communities are within reach,” Wolf said in a statement. 

The 2022-23 state budget included $85.5 million for the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, which provides financial support for organizations, municipalities, educational institutions, and district attorneys to undertake violence prevention efforts.

Grants for the intervention and prevention program range from $25,000 to $2.5 million. Applications can be submitted online until Oct. 12.

The other program, Coordinated Community Violence Intervention Strategies Pilot Program, will invest $15 million in collaborative community violence prevention and response strategies. This new program will fund five to eight projects. Applications can be submitted online until Oct. 31.

“The community groups working tirelessly to combat violence told us they needed more resources: we heard them and are answering those calls,” Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) said, noting that funding for such initiatives has gone from zero to the present level in only 18 months. “We cannot wait to see the life-changing work these groups are able to accomplish.”

Rep. Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia) said lawmakers have to do their part to end the suffering and deaths of young people due to senseless violence.

“We can only do that by ensuring gun violence prevention programs are accessible to youth to show them that they have options and do not have to be a statistic. Prevention starts at home, right here in our own backyards,” Brown said.