A Million Dollar Plan: How youth can get paid to stay clear of trouble this summer

The department plans to award 11 applicants up to $20,000.
The department plans to award 11 applicants up to $20,000.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In 2021, nearly a dozen teens were shot and killed with at least two homicides reported this year. Some teens are facing charges as serious as attempted murder. In response, the city has committed to paying at-risk youth to not only stay out of trouble, but start planning a future.

City Council approved $199,979.47 in grant funding to provide summer programs and job opportunities to young people who are at risk for gun violence back in June 2016. Last year, members approved to allocate $1 million in emergency violence-interruption funding commitment made by Mayor Indya Kincannon and city council in February 2021. The city’s Community Safety department agreed to use that money to grant non-profits and groups to put youth, ages 12 to 21, on their payroll during the summer.

“This can open the door for them to continue to be a part of some of these organizations or to be referred to other organizations that they can be a part of as the school year begins, or to have continued employment or at least to put on their resume ‚” Community Safety Director LaKenya Middlebrook told WVLT News.

The department plans to award 11 applicants up to $20,000. The following groups have been accepted:

Canvas Can Do Miracles: $20,000.00

Shora Foundation: $20,000.00

SEEED: $20,000.00

Two Bikes: $15,000.00

Sols Write House: $20,000.00

Karate Five Association: $20,000.00

YWCA: $20,000.00

My Daughters Journey: $20,000.00

Drums Up Guns Down: $20,000.00

Big Brothers Big Sisters: $8,350.80

The Bottom: $10,758.00

Additionally, The Knoxville Police Department is asking for $700,000 for a tool that could develop more leads and to identify armed violent offenders. The city’s Community Empowerment Department wants to dish out $5,000 to five minority groups that address food insecurities, health and wellness. Those organizations include the Knoxville Black Doula Collective, The Women LLC, Black Girls Do Bike, Battlefield Farms and Gardens, and Canvas Can Do Miracles.

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