Kalamazoo commits $100K to reducing gun violence

The move comes as the city faces the worst year of gun violence in years.

Thirteen people have been killed in shootings this year in the city of Kalamazoo. There have been 70 non-fatal shootings since January. After declining for years, gun violence in the city has skyrocketed in 2020.

It is in that environment that city commissioners on Monday voted to dedicate $100,000 to gun violence reduction efforts.

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“Gun violence is not new,” said Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin. “But it has impacted this community in a way … that we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The money comes from a discretionary fund set aside for special initiatives. Commissioners unanimously agreed that gun violence was an issue plaguing the community and that was unlikely to go away in the coming year.

The money will be divided evenly between four special projects:

  • Block Clubs: The clubs would be formed in the city’s Northside, Edison, and Eastside neighborhoods and would focus on improving communication between residents and city organizations.
  • Community Healing: Money would fund mental health and other services for survivors of gun violence.
  • Housing Rehab: Money would be spent to fix up homes damaged in shootings.
  • Security: Money would fund security systems, such as security cameras, in targeted neighborhoods.

Commissioners admitted that $100,000 will not solve the problem of gun violence in the city, but it is a start in the right direction.

You can read more on Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave.

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