(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced $2.8 million in security and preparedness grants for faith-based, non-profit organizations in the District. Twenty-three District nonprofits will receive grants to enhance security infrastructure at their facilities with twelve organizations as first-time recipients. Ten District nonprofits applied for and will receive the maximum award of $150,000.
These grants support facility security upgrades, planning, training, and other security-related activities at non-profit organizations. The funding can be used to purchase physical security enhancements such as cameras, strengthening doors, locks, security lights, gates, and security personnel.
“DC’s faith-based organizations advance DC values and are at the very heart of our community,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our places of worship should be secure and safe for those who want to worship.”
The grants are managed through the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
“Faith-based communities have been the targets of intimidation and violence in the District and these grants are critical in building a more resilient community,” said HSEMA Director Dr. Christopher Rodriguez. “With an increase in applications for these grants, we remain committed to the District’s faith-based nonprofits and ensuring they have the information to keep their congregations and facilities safe.”
In 2019, Mayor Bowser launched the District’s Interfaith Preparedness and Advisory Group – a joint effort to bring together the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs (MORA), the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and HSEMA to facilitate collaboration with the District’s faith-based communities. The agencies work together with faith-based partners to enhance security efforts related to hate-based threats and provide them information on making preparedness part of their organization’s plan.
HSEMA encourages non-profits, businesses, and residents to take time in September to observe National Preparedness Month (NPM) which raises awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and disasters that can happen at any time. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” Through the District’s preparedness campaign ReadyDC, HSEMA is promoting the importance of making a plan, building a kit, sharing tips on low-cost, no-cost preparedness, and teaching youth about preparedness.