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$5M in American Rescue Plan funds targeted for violence prevention in Buffalo

Congressman Brian Higgins and Mayor Byron Brown were joined by the Buffalo Violence Prevention and Reduction Coalition Wednesday morning.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — More money is heading to Buffalo in hopes of stemming the rising tide of violent crime in the city.

Congressman Brian Higgins (D-26) was joined by Mayor Byron Brown and members of the Buffalo Violence Prevention and Reduction Coalition Wednesday at Back to Basics Outreach Ministry on William Street. 

Higgins announced that $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds will come to the city to address the rising number of deadly shootings and other violent crimes. 

“Residents in the city of Buffalo have been witness to a terrible spike in gun violence over the past several weeks, and that violence threatens to worsen without immediate and decisive action,” said Congressman Higgins. “Community Violence Intervention Programs work well, and particularly when those involved have credibility both with law enforcement and the community at large. That’s what we have with this coalition of community leaders, and that’s what we’re looking to put in place today.”

“Community Violence Intervention programs provide critical assistance in real-time, on the ground, and they work," said Pastor James Giles of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries. 

"When organizations like ours have the resources to get into the community, we have the ability to stop the violence before it escalates out of control. I'm grateful to Congressman Higgins for meeting with us last week, and my thanks go out to Mayor Brown and council members who will help us help our communities.”

The agreement between the city and the Coalition calls for using the funds to address youth at risk of perpetrating or becoming victims of violence, support victims and families with food security and violence related repairs, offer youth intervention and mentorship and deploy violence interrupters to mediate and reduce community violence.