The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $3.8 million in grant awards to support security enhancements for 80 Massachusetts nonprofits at high risk of hate crimes or attacks by extremists. Grant recipients that include Nativity Preparatory School of Jamaica Plain for $72,424 and other faith-based organizations, health care providers, social service providers, and other community-based organizations whose beliefs or missions make them potential targets for attack.
The Office of Grants and Research (OGR), an agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), awarded grants totaling $3,800,000 through the FY24 Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program and the FY24 Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Personnel Grant Program. The Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program awarded grants totaling $3,500,000 to 66 nonprofits to enhance physical security at their locations. An additional $300,000 was awarded through the Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Personnel Grant Program to assist nonprofits with the cost of contracted security personnel.
In addition to the grant awards announced today, OGR is offering another $4.75 million in funding for similar nonprofit security. The funds will help nonprofits enhance building safety and security for their members, visitors, and staff.
The Massachusetts Nonprofit Security Gant Program will utilize federal funds made available through a State Fiscal Recovery Funds allocation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Award announcements are expected this Spring.
“Every individual deserves the fundamental right to practice their faith without fear. These grant programs allow us to invest in the faith-based and nonprofit organizations that serve as the cornerstones of our communities,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We will combat bias on every front and ensure that sacred spaces are protected from the threat of violence and extremism.”
“Our administration is committed to promoting the safety and protection of houses of worship, medical facilities, cultural venues, and other gathering places. These grants provide the tools and resources needed to strengthen our community institutions and ensures Massachusetts ability to uphold our core values of diversity and inclusion,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.
“Public partnerships and collaborations with faith-based and nonprofit organizations have been vital to community safety. These organizations are part of the social fabric of our neighborhoods and our region. This funding allows us to support and protect these nonprofits as they continue providing essential services in our communities,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy.
“Nonprofit organizations are there for community members in their time of need – whether they’re seeking medical assistance, pastoral care, education, or services. We have a duty to ensure that these institutions and all who pass through their doors are protected from threats and violence. I’m proud of my office’s work partnering with nonprofits across the state to create safer gathering spaces for our communities,” said OGR Executive Director Kevin Stanton.
The announcement of these recent grant awards strengthens the administration’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding diverse communities and promoting inclusivity. A newly formed Massachusetts State Police (MSP) unit, the Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team (HART), was rolled out in November 2023 in order reinforce the statewide response to hate crimes and hate-based incidents.
The administration announced in November that $461,920 in Hate Crime Prevention grants were being designed to expand and support programs to assist educators, administrators, students, and staff to reduce incidents of bias in schools.