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Community collaboration to discuss ways to put the SAFE Charlotte grants to work

Over a dozen community-based organizations were awarded $50,000 grants to help address the city's violent crime.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A proactive attempt at preventing crime throughout Charlotte involved multiple organizations all getting together virtually to discuss ways to collaborate and help keep people safe.

The city hosted the Community Safety Summit Thursday evening inviting residents and grassroots organizations to join forces to brainstorm ways to successfully use the $1 million Charlotte city leaders invested into the SAFE Charlotte initiative.

“They’re buying impact, they’re not giving away money," A.W. Burgess founder of Family Mankind said." They are making an investment in the community.”

Family Mankind is one of 17 local organizations awarded grant money to help seek a solution to violent crimes. Burgess says many times the issues start at home.

“Our position is getting to the root cause of the individual inside of the house so we’re dealing with the dysfunction," Burgess said.

PAST COVERAGE: $1M in grants up for grabs for Charlotte nonprofits combating violence

We're told that same dysfunction causes trauma that often leads to violent crimes like domestic violence and sexual assaults.

Another organization also awarded the grant money and similarly played a part in Thursday night's conversation was Planet Improv, a nonprofit that seeks to empower students with honest conversations that help with emotional learning and conflict resolution.

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“Act out those scenarios in a safe and trustworthy environment so that we can do that ahead of time to hopefully empower the students when they come into that situation in real life they will be better prepared," Planet Improv founder Scott Pacitti said.

The Mecklenburg County Office of Violence Prevention is also working to create a 100 Youth Advisory Council to help put a stop to youth violence as well.

The City of Charlotte also hopes to improve perceptions of safety and with the help of UNC Charlotte they are encouraging those who live in the Beatties Ford corridor to participate in a research study about community safety. Participants will be paid. Click here to learn more about the study and how to sign up.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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