Violent crimes continue to rise in D.C. as legislators continue to look for solutions to solve them.
With the continued rise in violent crimes in the District of Columbia, despite the shift in temperature, D.C. legislatures are instituting a mini grant program to support area youth and families in areas with high levels of crime.
The grants will be used to award community nonprofit organizations and individuals who serve D.C. youth and families in specific areas that have been hard hit by crime. The D.C. Council approved the Fiscal Year 2016 supplemental budget on May 27, which included $1.25 million funding for the initiative.
“The ultimate goal is to provide resources for young people and to keep them engaged,” Chanda Washington, a spokeswoman for Kevin Donahue, deputy mayor for public safety and justice, told the AFRO Dec. 1. She said the “mini-grants,” which will service Langston/Carver, Lincoln Heights, Benning Terrace, Woodland Terrace and Congress Park, will allow nonprofit groups to address violence prevention and mediation, mentoring, youth enrichment programs and family support.
According to the police department, 150 homicides have occurred in the city as of Dec. 1, almost a 58 percent jump from last year’s total of 95.
“Some of these young people have been witnesses to violent crimes and to things that other young people have not witnessed or seen,” Washington said, emphasizing the importance of surrounding youth with positive support and activities to help them cope with the violence within their environment.
According to the metropolitan police website, the latest violent crime occurred on Nov. 29. A Black male suspect allegedly forcibly attempting to sexually assault a victim in his vehicle in Northeast D.C. A press release stated the woman sustained minor injuries. Police are currently looking for the suspect.
Another incident occurred on Nov. 27 in Southeast D.C. with five people being shot in three separate shootings within a 90 minute span.
According to The Washington Post, the shootings began a little after 8 p.m. when a man was seriously injured after being shot in the back twice in the 2200 block of Savannah Street.
Another man was hit in the leg by gunfire about 45 minutes later in the 4000 block of Third Street.
The third shooting, at 9:10 p.m. that evening, involved two men and one woman who were struck by gunfire in the 2100 block of Alabama Avenue. According to the Post, the woman was shot in the chest, one of the men was shot in the leg and the third victim was shot in the arm.
NBC reported one of the two men involved in the third incident is now in critical condition.
Police do not have any suspects in custody and it is unclear what led to the shootings.
“The violence in Southeast has to be stopped. We need more resources for the young people in Ward 8,”Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Anthony Muhammed told NBC.