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Rep. Freeman Announces Over $1 Million in Local Violence Reduction Funding | WDIY Local News

Community Bike Works

In a release, State Rep. Robert Freeman said the money will support projects implementing local and regional strategies to reduce violence.

The Greater Easton Development Partnership, which runs the Easton Farmers’ Market and Easton Public Market, among other projects, will receive $1.1 million for a “multifaceted approach to reduce crime and establish safer routes to schools in Easton.”

GEDP will work with Community Bike Works to bring its Earn a Bike mentoring program to the city’s West Ward. The release said teens in this location were exposed to gun violence last year.

The program will include 40 hours of group mentoring through bike mechanics, safety and riding lessons for up to five students each month of the school year.

Students that complete the program will also have access to year-round mentoring, small group rides and leadership programs.

GEDP will also expand its Easton Ambassadors “Clean and Safe” program, to provide supervision of common walking corridors to Paxinosa Elementary, and support walking and biking routes to bus stops for Easton Area Middle School.

Additionally, the Wilson Area LINCS Family Center will receive $30,000 to expand an additional program area, which is currently undefined but will be based on the evolution of problem behaviors, gaps in current services, and other recommendations.

The release says LINCS is considering implementing the Blues Program, Aggression Replacement Training, and Strengthening Families.

This funding is on top of a previous grant developed in partnership to address youth risk factors and build youth protective factors.

Freeman said the funding is administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and that $105 million was allocated in this year’s budget for violence reduction efforts.

Three Lehigh County projects also received funding as part of this round of grants. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley, KidsPeace, and the Lehigh County Chief Executive Officer received a total of just over $1.4 million.

(Original air-date: 1/16/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.
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