By Sue Favor
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Nonprofit organizations that serve the community can benefit from a new grant program that City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson has launched in his Eighth District.
The CD8 Community-Based Organization Grant Fund will give existing and emerging entities grant packages to enhance their capabilities to provide prevention and intervention services, business development or support, and mental health services to the area. The ultimate goal of the program is to make the district a better place to live.
“What we see in Council District Eight are a lot of small organizations who support our families and our communities through service,” Harris-Dawson said. “We see them helping our houseless neighbors, the social clubs that organize community clean-ups and paint over graffiti, or the groups who outreach to our youth and seniors.
“These are but a few of the representations of the work they do. This grant opportunity is designed for them, and our larger nonprofits, too. We want to service them, support them and recognize them for enhancing the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $75,000. The $4.2 million was part of a total of $150 million that came from monies redirected from the Los Angeles Police Department to affected communities in South Los Angeles. Of that, $88 million was set aside with the goal of reinvesting in disadvantaged communities of color. The grant process will be overseen by a separate entity.
In June 2020, in the wake of national protests against social injustice, Black Lives Matter LA suggested to the City Council that a portion of the LAPD’s funds be reallocated. Focusing on providing aid and crisis management, improved infrastructure and a re-imagined public safety model would be a better use of the funds, Black Lives Matter officials said.
After the council approved the concept, Harris-Dawson said he was among a group that surveyed and met with residents to get their feedback on concerns and priorities.
“Overwhelmingly, residents voiced their desires to see community-based public safety programs, as well as resources to address homelessness, career training and mental health as areas the city should reinvest these funds,” he said.
The Eighth District Office is beginning to accept applications, and will continue to do so until grant monies run out. Harris-Dawson hopes organizations take the opportunity to expand upon the work they’ve already done.
“This grant opportunity is open to the small and large organizations that have pioneered creative community-based efforts that enhance the quality of life and make our neighborhoods safer,” he said. “I encourage existing and emerging organizations, neighborhood councils, block clubs, local leaders with deep ties to the community, that are committed to the people and families in District Eight to apply.”
Grant applications can be found at the district’s website: https://mhdcd8.com/.
Sue Favor is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers, who covers South Los Angeles.