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Madison Finance Committee recommends funding for southwest side mentoring programs
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Madison Finance Committee recommends funding for southwest side mentoring programs

JOHNSON (copy)

In this 2015 photo, Madison Police officer Caleb Johnson talks with kids in southwest Madison.

Four mentoring programs for youth on Madison’s southwest side are in line for funding as a part of a federal grant to address crime in the Raymond Road corridor.

On Monday, Madison’s Finance Committee recommended allocating a total of $210,850 to 100 Black Men of Madison, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Intentional Mentoring Inc. and the Rape Crisis Center to provide individual and group mentoring programs that engage middle and high school youth from Meadowood, Theresa Terrace and the Park Edge/Park Ridge neighborhoods.

“We really felt very strongly that we wanted any mentoring program to work with families to have a connection to the community, to be sustainable in the community and connected to other community organizations and groups, and to align with our other pillars,” project manager Stephanie Bradley Wilson said.

The funding comes from a portion of an $850,000 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Implementation grant that the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Madison Police Department in 2017 to implement programming that builds community cohesion and reduce crime on the west side.

In November 2015, the Madison City Council accepted a $155,522 Department of Justice planning grant for the corridor, making the city eligible for the additional funding. The initial funding allowed a collaborative team that included Common Wealth Development representatives, researcher Jeffrey Lewis and neighbors to create a strategy called “Southwest Madison, A Safe and Beautiful Place.”

The city received 11 proposals from 10 agencies that totaled $709,329 in a competitive request for proposal process. According to the request for proposals, up to $220,000 was designated for youth mentoring opportunities. Programs are expected to begin in April 2019.

Programs that received funding include:

  • Up to $40,850 to 100 Black Men of Madison for the Project SOAR program that seeks to engage primarily male middle and high school youth.
  • Up to $60,000 to the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for the Dear Diary program, which will provide group mentoring for primarily female middle and high school youth.
  • Up to $65,000 to Intentional Mentoring Inc. for its West Madison Initiative that will primarily support youth from the Theresa Terrace and Meadowood neighborhoods.
  • Up to $45,000 to the Rape Crisis Center Inc. for a program called the Healing Power of Hip-Hop that will be primarily located in the Elver Park Neighborhood.

Bradley Wilson said the southwest Madison initiative is meant to address three overarching strategies: supporting parents, increasing guardianship and strengthening community policing.

“We’re trying to create synergy,” Bradley Wilson said.

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