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South Bend announces second round of Alive grant recipients

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE News

The city of South Bend announced its second round of Alive grants Wednesday. The program funds community initiatives that focus on youth engagement, with the goal of reducing gun violence.

In the program’s first year, 50 organizations received Alive grants. Awardees included outreach ministries, sports programs and restorative justice initiatives.

This year, only 10 organizations were selected. But South Bend Mayor James Mueller said that means higher grant amounts — about $25,000 per recipient.

“The eye was always to look for the most impactful programs for our youth and community and continue to dedicate resources to those efforts,” he said.

Mueller said fewer recipients are also easier for the city to oversee — the grants were originally set to be announced in December, but a South Bend Tribune article published that month raised questions about how some recipients had spent their money.

“It’s a small team that oversees the program, and this isn’t the only thing that that team works on in the community,” Mueller said. “We always wanted to go to higher average-amount awards and fewer recipients, but that also helps make sure that the team that’s managing this program is able to really stay on top of the different awardees.”

The city’s office of community initiatives is responsible for overseeing the program. It’s responsible for holding trainings with grant recipients and attending events held by recipient organizations.

The Alive program aims to reduce incidences of youth gun violence by connecting young people to mentors, job training and community outreach opportunities.

As such, its success metrics are mostly long-term, or “outcome-based.” But Mueller said there are “output-based” metrics the city can track in the near term.

“We want to see how many residents are served and in what capacity,” Mueller said. “But, of course, the overall outcome-based metric for the program will be how our community moves forward — and our youth, in particular.”

The 10 Alive grant recipients for this year are:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Southern Lake Michigan Region, Inc.
  • Underground Basketball League
  • Emaculate Enterprise
  • Five Star Life
  • Take Heart (Take Ten Program)
  • Transformation Ministries — Greater Impact
  • Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc. — Epsilon Delta Chapter
  • Transformation Ministries — Iron Sharpens Iron
  • Indiana Parenting Institute of St. Joseph County
  • Imani Unidad

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.