ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The deadline for proposals for the Rochester Peace Collective was Monday at 5 p.m. The initiative will use $5 million from the city’s cut of American Rescue Plan funding to help certain organizations in the city get a much-needed boost.

The Rochester Peace Collective first came about after input from community members in Rochester who gave feedback as to how the city should spend its $202.1 million awarded from the COVID recovery funds.

That input showed the desire for the city to carry out violence prevention programs where organizations involved in work aimed at violence reduction could access portions of the $5 million. Funding is divided into three tiers.

Tier 1 includes smaller organizations seeking less than $30,000 a year in funding. Tier 2 is for programs that would serve a specific geographic area, or narrow a target population with funding in the range of $30,000 to $150,000 a year. Tier 3 would cover projects with the ability to provide complex programs across a larger portion of the city; those funding requests are slated to be between $150,000 and $250,000 per year.

There were a total of 53 proposals submitted by the 5:00 p.m. August 15th deadline. Some types of programs the city was looking for include social-emotional health support, re-entry programs, job training, conflict resolution, youth development and more.

“We’ve had some phenomenal proposals. We have some specific to anti-violence efforts around outreach, we have some specific to young women and empowerment, we have some specific to athletics and assisting our young people within the community to have to be on a level playing feild with other nationally-recognized programs,” says Victor Saunders, the Mayor’s Special Assistant for Violence Prevention Programs.

The city has also encouraged organizations to essentially “team up” to achieve the goal for their proposed project.

“Basically the main reason for putting this together is to make sure all the different entities in the city that are actually doing the work have an opportunity to work more cohesively and collaboratively with other entities doing the similar work. We are definitely utilizing this funding to do away with silos in our community and the way we plan on doing that is to take all these like-minded, talented individuals and put them in a space with other individuals working, doing similar work that they’re doing,” says Saunders.

There is no “magic number” for how many projects or proposals will be granted funding.
Under the American Rescue Plan, all funds must be determined by Dec. 31 of 2024 and spent by Dec. 31, 2026.