Houses of worship and nonprofit organizations in Queens can now apply for grants to improve the safety of their establishments, following a rise in hate crimes across the nation.
Congresswoman Grace Meng recently held a workshop in Kew Gardens on the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which is open to institutions like churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, community centers and schools. Funds from the federal initiative protect properties against outside threats and attacks.
According to Meng’s office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allocates grants and eligible organizations can apply for up to $100,000 in grant funds. Each grant covers target hardening as well as other physical security enhancements like barriers, gates, safety gear and surveillance equipment.
“We have all seen the increase in hate crimes across the country including right here in the New York area,” said Meng, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “These attacks and threats can happen anywhere at any time, and houses of worship and nonprofit facilities must be prepared. They must do everything possible to protect their properties, and Nonprofit Security Grants can be a huge resource in that critical effort.”
In her role as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Meng has helped to increase funding and awareness of these grants over the last several years. Most recently, she helped boost the program’s funding to a record $90 million and facilitated and announced grants for houses of worship and nonprofits in her Queens district.
“Safety and security must always be the number one priority. I continue to encourage all houses of worship and high-risk nonprofits to apply for these grants, and I thank all who attended this important workshop,” Meng said.
The deadline to apply for grants is Wednesday, March 18. Organizations that submit applications in the 6th Congressional District are encouraged to contact Meng’s office for assistance and letters of support. The number to call is 718-358-MENG (6364).
Visit the FEMA website to learn more about the program and find out how to apply.