ManUpPHL wins major City grant for anti-gun violence work

Yesterday when I learned that ManUpPHL was among several community organizations to receive City funding to fight gun violence, I was moved.

Moved not only by the $242,000 grant, which will go to pay stipends and create employment opportunities for the men we serve, but by the journey we’ve taken to grow this movement.

I thought back to 2019, when the murder of a child prompted me to call our community together. We decided that we would mentor, that we would guide, that we would do everything we could to step into the lives of young men being impacted by gun violence.

We made our way through the pandemic, taking our in-person meetings online, then taking to the streets to deliver food and masks and gloves to the young men we mentored. And when we reached the other side of the lockdown, we decided to do something radical. We decided to listen.

Now, our Listening to the Streets initiative serves young men by mentoring them and training them, but most of all, by listening to them. Theirs are the ideas that will stop gun violence in the city of Philadelphia. So, we pay them stipends, then we help them get jobs, then we tell them to do for others what we’ve done for them.

This movement is driven by the men we serve. It’s fueled by volunteers from across the city. It gives rise to the hope that we can fight gun violence—one life at a time.

So, I want to thank everyone who’s invested in this movement. From the City to the Eagles to the Philadelphia Foundation and Shoprite, to the everyday people who send a few dollars each month. To WURD and the volunteers who give of themselves.

But most of all I want to thank the men we serve. Because they have taught us the greatest lesson of all. Ending gun violence isn’t about building programs. Ending gun violence is about building people.
To learn more about ManUpPHL click here or call 267-748-7818

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