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Gianaris announces $365K in funding to combat gun violence at the Woodside Houses

After an uptick of shootings in and around the Woodside Houses NYCHA complex, state Sen. Michael Gianaris secured $365,000 in funding for Community Capacity Development to fight gun violence. (File photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

After several high-profile shootings in and around the Woodside Houses, state Sen. Michael Gianaris announced he secured $365,000 in funding for Community Capacity Development (CCD) to fight gun violence at the NYCHA development.

“Making our communities safe starts with empowering our neighbors to lead and investing in proven tools to interrupt violence and prevent disruption before it occurs,” Gianaris said. “I am proud to have secured $365,000 for Community Capacity Development, building off previous investments we made, to keep expanding the scope of this important, life-saving work.”

Gianaris made the announcement during CCD’s Safe Summer 2023 Kickoff event at the Woodside Houses Friday where he was joined by CCD leadership and members of the Woodside Houses Tenants Association. 

“This funding signifies their significant support for people-powered public safety and their belief in the power of human and healing justice. At CCD, we firmly believe that investing in people and empowering those closest to the issues is the key to fostering sustainable and meaningful change in our community. It is important to recognize that this announcement marks the beginning of the accountability process,” CCD Founder and CEO K. Bain said. “We understand that it is not enough to simply secure resources; it is crucial to ensure that these resources are effectively and equitably allocated to those who are actively engaged in this essential work.”

In March of 2021, Gudelia Vallinas a 37-year-old mother of two was caught in a crossfire between rival gang members near the basketball courts between the intersection of 48th Street and Broadway. Gianaris has fought to fund and support community-based violence interruption efforts in western Queens and across New York state to hopefully prevent deaths like this.

He secured funding for CCD, Queensbridge 696, and included funding in the state budget for programs across New York that use innovative, community-based models to prevent gun violence. He’s also been a longtime proponent of stricter gun safety laws, including writing portions of New York’s strongest-in-the-nation gun laws and recently passing a law requiring quarterly reporting about the origins of guns used in crimes.

“Thank you Gianaris for always supporting Woodside Houses and the youth,” Woodside Houses Tenants Association Acting President Tammy Reyes said. “These funds will allow Woodside CCD to provide youth access to educational resources, extracurricular activities, and employment trainings that will keep them off the streets. Our youth need a safe space to have fun and be mentored by others in our community that will build their self-confidence and empowerment to become successful. This is a great day for Woodside Houses & CCD.”

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