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CeaseFire Funding Ends, Waiting For New Grant

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 10:51 AM CDT
CeaseFire is a program in the capital city that aims to reduce violence in high-risk areas. But its funding just ran out at the end of June.

Normally, the money comes from the University of Illinois Chicago's cure violence program, which allots state funding for programs like CeaseFire.

Those state grants are your taxpayer dollars. Now, the Springfield chapter is working to secure another grant from UIC to keep the program going.

In the meantime, the group is getting creative to make ends meets until a grant application is approved.

So we wanted to see what your getting for your dollar.

"100,000 people a year are shot in this country. Every 17 minutes someone is shot. 87 people are shot in one day across the globe. 609 people are shot in just one week," said Andre Neal, Lead Outreach Supervisor for CeaseFire.

That's why Neal thinks his work with CeaseFire is so important.

And the Urban League agrees because they're providing the funding to keep the program afloat while they wait for a grant.

CeaseFire works closely with the Urban League to help the at-risk population get the services they need.

"Quite naturally, when one pot of money dries up, you do a collective approach, which we've been able to do," said Larry Hemingway, Program Manager for CeaseFire.

And together, the Springfield Urban League and CeaseFire are working to curb violence.

For those working out in the community, the best way to stop the violence is intervention, whether that's breaking up a fight or finding jobs for those who need it.

"A lot of the things that we do, that we accomplish people don't see on the news," Neal said. "They don't see the conversations we have when guys are calling you at 11 or 12 at night wanting to discuss some things before they go out and make a mistake and we stop them from making that mistake, so we've accomplished a lot in that department that people don't see. "

Because the change CeaseFire aims to create relies on building relationships with the people they serve, the program needs its funding to continue another year to allow people time to grow.

"It's a prime opportunity to partner with businesses," Hemingway said. "One of our area focuses within our workforce department that CeaseFire falls under is to partner with local businesses to help some of the higher and highest risk individuals to become more employable. It's a win win because we work on the entire being as opposed to just one aspect."

Right now CeaseFire is waiting to hear back on their application for a $200,000 grant.

In addition to the help from the Urban League, other local organizations, churches, and private individuals have stepped up to help continue funding the program.

In the last 90 days, CeaseFire has held one event every seven days, and they have no intention of scaling back.CeaseFire Funding Ends, Waiting For New Grant

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