(The Center Square) – Grant money is being set aside to increase security for nonprofits in Illinois.
“Houses of worship have been attacked with gun violence. There have been bomb threats to a variety of institutions,” state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, told The Center Square. “The volume and increasing commonality of hate crimes and hate attacks requires taking steps to keep people safe.”
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Terrorism Task Force has announced a $20 million taxpayer funded Illinois grant program to help nonprofits in the state beef up security measures. A number of at-risk Illinois nonprofit organizations have wanted to increase security for years now, but they have not had the resources, Morgan said.
“This funding will provide both physical security measures and staffing security,” he said.
The fiscal year 2023 Illinois Not-for-Profit Security Grant Program received bipartisan support in the legislature, Morgan said.
“This funding will help prevent terror before it strikes,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in an announcement for the grant program.
Eligible 501(c)(3) organizations located in Illinois that are at high risk of a terrorist attack are encouraged to apply for competitive grants of up to $150,000 per location. Funds must be used for “target hardening” activities such as installing bulletproof glass, security doors, tremor alarms for windows, security lighting and cameras. Funding can also be used for training, staffing and management.
Better security measures for at risk communities will make people safer but the core of the problem is hate, Morgan said.
“Security measures don’t do anything to reduce the incidence of hate,” he said. “We absolutely have to continue to look at the core of how we can ratchet down hate.”
Information and a sample application are available on the IEMA website where the Notice of Funding Opportunity can be downloaded.
Applicants are required to register and pre-qualify per the Grants Accountability and Transparency Act.
For assistance and questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call IEMA’s Chief Accountability Officer Myong-Ae Kim at 217-785-9890.
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2023.