Santa Maria Community Services is excited to announce that it has received a grant of $40,000 to help facilitate better relationships between the community, youth, and the law enforcement agencies of Lower Price Hill. Funding was made possible by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services. The grant will first focus on expanding the mentoring program between officers and Lower Price Hill youth through Santa Maria’s current program, Lower Price Hill Collaborative for Violence Prevention, by increasing the number of Oyler School students who meet with officers each month. The collaborative was first established in November 2016 to address the issues of violence in the Lower Price Hill community.
Additionally, the grant will help us measure the Lower Price Hill community residents’ perceptions of police through a community-wide survey with an overall goal of tracking positive changes in these responses in the following years. Lower Price Hill is recognized as a community with high crime rates, and the negative perception that residents and youth have of police makes it less likely for them to seek help from the police when they are in need.
The grant will assist with staffing at Santa Maria’s Joe Williams Family Center where our Youth Development Program is housed. Santa Maria is one of 20 organizations who were awarded this community-police grant.