LEXINGTON, Ky. — Some outreach advocates say something needs to be done about gun violence in Lexington, and they’re hoping to reach out to young people before they find themselves on the wrong path.

What You Need To Know

  • A new program is aiming to help financially secure resources for local nonprofits

  • One Lexington is a gun violence and community outreach program

  • Over $150,000 from the city and $30,000 from national partners are to be held for the efforts of the program

As of Tuesday, nonprofits in Lexington can begin applying for a new grant to help curb gun violence. It’s part of the One Lexington Gun Violence Prevention Grant Program.

With $150,000 from the city and $30,000 from national partners and nonprofit Cities United, local groups can apply for up to $7,000.

The $30,000 will be divided into a two-plan strategy that focuses both on victims and re-entry services for those incarcerated, officials said. That will give some groups up to seven thousand dollars in support.

“These individuals and organizations are already doing it. It’s not a theory, so why not get the money and resources into their hands,” said Devine Carama, the director of One Lexington. 

Mayor Gorton’s office says this year the city has 50% fewer homicide victims 13 to 29 years old, and that One Lex is definitely making a difference. Carama believes the new grant will help even more.

“Oftentimes we have individuals who are struggling themselves and also trying to give back to a community that’s struggling,” Carama said. 

The One Lex director says with this being the first year he and the prevention organization start the program, he would like to see more in the future.

“I would love to see the amount climb each year, right? $150,000 is great and we are going to do a lot of good work with that,” Carama said, “but how can we continue to amplify that support? And I think first we have to see how this first year goes.”

The program will pay for stipends for volunteer street outreach workers plus mini-grants to be distributed through schools. Organizations must have a current 501c3 to apply and help will be provided to organizations that must apply for the title.