FILE — Little Rock City Hall is shown in this 2019 file photo.
An omnibus-style resolution before members of the Little Rock Board of Directors for their meeting Tuesday evening would direct $200,000 each to 10 organizations in order to address crime and community violence.
The entities poised to receive city dollars include the public research hospital in Little Rock as well as various community organizations.
City leaders have sought to tamp down a spike in violent crime that has afflicted Little Rock, as well as many other cities nationwide, over the course of the covid-19 pandemic.
The city board’s review of the funding package that would have Little Rock partner with the 10 organizations follows a string of recent shootings.
Eleven people, including a 1-year-old child, were injured and one person died as a result of shooting incidents over a four-day period beginning Jan. 28.
According to a board memo from the city manager’s office, funding for the programs is available from the city’s 2022 allocation of Prevention, Intervention and Treatment dollars.
Contracts will run for 12 months, from March 1, 2022 to Feb. 28, 2023.
Ten applications met the minimum score for funding consideration in response to a bid that requested community violence prevention services, according to the memo.
The board memo lists the organizational partnerships under five categories: conflict resolution/anger management, hospital-based intervention, life skills and/or workforce readiness, mental health and wellness and prevention of criminal activity through violence intervention.
Efforts under the category of conflict resolution/anger management will be contracted out to Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc., as well as Unity Martial Arts.
Unity Martial Arts, located at 1524 Garfield Drive, claims to be “the only school in Little Rock to offer Cuong Nhu, a mixed martial art with a traditional feel, as well as Fitness Kickboxing and Tai Chi,” according to its website.
The website of Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc. describes it as a nonprofit group first incorporated in 2004 that offers mediation services.
The organization is based at Little Rock’s Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center on W. 12th Street.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is the sole organization listed under the category of hospital-based intervention, according to board documents.
The category of life skills and/or workforce readiness lists Brandon House Cultural and Performing Arts Center and another organization called Restore Hope.
Restore Hope aims to reduce incarceration through activities like alternative sentencing and re-entry programs, according to its website.
The website of Brandon House Cultural and Performing Arts Center describes it as “an urban community-based center that supports creative and artistic skills of underrepresented and underserved youth, aspiring artists, musicians and creative professionals.”
The organization is headed by Pamela Bax, who serves as the executive director, according to its website.
Our House as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas are listed under the mental health and wellness category.
Based at 302 E. Roosevelt Road, Our House operates a temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness, provides employment services and more.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, Songbird Multimedia and Lessons Learned are listed under the category of prevention of criminal activity through violence intervention.
According to its Facebook page, the Songbird Multimedia and Performing Arts Foundation is a nonprofit “dedicated to producing quality performance opportunities on stage and screen for youth.”
The organization also awards scholarship on an annual basis “to high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in dance, theater and music,” its page says.
Lessons Learned, LLC, “creates personalized road maps to success for each group or individual,” with strategies drawn from the experiences of Kevin L. Hunt, Sr., according to the organization’s website.
Hunt’s LinkedIn page describes him as a professional speaker and the founder and chief executive officer of Lessons Learned.
A separate resolution before the city board for its Tuesday meeting would provide up to $200,000 to the organization FAB44 to provide a day labor program with an eye to Wards 1, 2, 6 and 7.
The organization’s website describes itself as a nonprofit that facilitates basketball camps, personal training and tournaments for youth ages 6-18.
The contract with FAB44 would run during the same timeframe as the other contracts and likewise draw its funding from the city’s Prevention, Intervention and Treatment dollars.