NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (NEWS10) — The Executive Office of Health and Human Services recently awarded the city of North Adams $629,000 for violence prevention. The money came from the Strong Communities Initiative Grant Program.

The Strong Communities Initiative supports community-based violence prevention and intervention programs that promote equitable access to protective factors. Those factors are meant to reduce the likelihood of violence, increase psychological and physical safety and security, and reduce the risk factors for gun and community violence.

The Strong Communities Grant provides five years of funding for violence prevention efforts focused on upstream prevention and early intervention. The next steps will be for North Adams Police, public schools, youth-serving organizations, and other partners to create an action plan for the first two years of funding.

A spokesperson for the city said, “This funding creates an opportunity for cross-sector collaborations to amplify the work of existing programs and introduce new programming to support intervention efforts that strengthen protective factors and community safety.” They thanked Carrie Burnett, Stacy Parsons, and Stacy Abuisi for their collaboration in securing the grant.