Governor Tom Wolf today announced the availability of $5 million in funding to support safety enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities, and more frequently targeted by hate crimes, throughout the Commonwealth.
“Hate has no place here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “No Pennsylvanian should be afraid to pray with their community, love who they love, or be who they are – that’s why this program is so important to me and I’ve committed $20 million to protect the various communities of this Commonwealth.”
Governor Wolf signed HB 859 to create the nonprofit security program in November 2019, a year after the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that claimed the lives of 11 congregants. Since then, the Governor has invested $15 million in more than 350 projects across the Commonwealth that aim to strengthen the physical security of churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other nonprofits facing to prejudice and are victims of hate crimes.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the nonprofit Safety Grants Program administers grants to organizations that are included in a biased motivation category for single-bias hate crime incidents, as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication.
Interested organizations can find the application and program information on the PCCD website. Grants can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including safety and security planning and training; purchase of safety and security equipment and technologies; upgrades to existing structures that improve safety and security; and vulnerability and threat assessments.
While Pennsylvania has seen an alarming increase in hate crimes from 2020 to 2021, according to data from the Pennsylvania State Police’s Uniform Crime Reporting System, the state is on track for a decrease in hate crime. total number of hate crimes reported for 2022.
From 2016 to 2019, Pennsylvania averaged 88 hate crimes per year. In 2020, hate crime incidents increased by 27% to 112. Last year alone in 2021, there was a shocking 210% increase to 347 crimes. So far in 2022, 182 hate crimes have been reported, about 30% less based on a monthly average compared to 2021. It is important to note, however, that hate crimes are vastly under-reported . At one point, the US Department of Justice estimated that almost two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported.
PCCD will accept applications for the program from Friday, September 30, 2022 through Monday, October 31, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a Commission-established task force consisting of representatives from PCCD, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Office of the Governor of Homeland Security. , with the awards being announced in December 2022.
Governor Wolf is a hardworking leader for the people of Pennsylvania. Find out how his priorities for Pennsylvania fueled the return of the Commonwealth, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.