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SAFE Task Force award several local organizations $10,000 grants each

Posted at 11:00 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 23:38:26-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A community came together Wednesday evening to work together to make our neighborhoods safer. More than a dozen people pitched their ideas on how they plan to end violence in Grand Rapids.

Many of the people pitched ideas regarding kids and providing them with more opportunities.

Dozens of people showed up at Ottawa High School and showcased their ideas to four judges with the Safe Alliances For Everyone Task Force.

"What we know to be true is that the community has a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of abilities, and a wealth of experiences to be able to address violence in a positive way," Grand Rapids Third Ward City Commissioner Senita Lenear told FOX 17.

The SAFE task force started in 2017 to provide funding to organizations and people who strive to make the city safer.

"Well, it's important because addressing violence and addressing violence... violent acts is one of those 'all hands on deck,'" Lenear siad.

Mus(ed) was one of the five organizations to win $10,000.  

"I'm just thinking about the impact that we're gonna have on the community," Mus(ed) founder Stephen Smith said. 

They plan to use their money to create a photography class for kids.

"We like to help them see where their purpose converges with their passion. And we'd like to help them explore it so that we basically want to provide hope, help provide hope," Smith said. 

The two founders were also winners back in 2019, where they used that money to create a music studio. They say this new grant is going to tie in nicely with what they've built so far. 

"We want to create an ecosystem that we want to create a creative ecosystem that allows musicians and photographers and videographers to all kind of create together," Taylor Smith said. 

SAFE Task Force plans to have two pitch nights next year. Dates have not been set. 

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