Event helped local houses of worship (synagogues, churches, mosques, temples) and nonprofit institutions learn about the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and how to apply for funding; grants are used to improve safety and security of facilities

2020 deadline to apply for funding is March 18

 Following the rise in hate crimes, US Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, held a workshop in Queens on the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant Program, the federal initiative that provides houses of worship (synagogues, churches, mosques, temples) and nonprofit institutions such as community centers and schools, with funds to protect their properties against threats and attacks.

The event, which took place in Kew Gardens, helped houses of worship and nonprofits in the borough learn about the program and how they can successfully apply for funding. These DHS grants, allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), cover target-hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities such as barriers, gates, safety gear, surveillance equipment, and other safety measures.

This year’s deadline to apply for the grants is Wednesday, March 18. Each house of worship/nonprofit organization may apply for up to a total of $100,000 in grant funds. Those who submit applications from Meng’s congressional district are encouraged to reach out to the Congresswoman’s office for assistance and letters of support. The phone number for Meng’s office is 718-358-MENG (6364).

Meng’s workshop also featured a presentation by David Pollock of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Representatives from New York State government and the NYPD spoke as well.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee – the panel that funds all US government agencies, programs, and projects, including the Nonprofit Security Grants Program – Meng has helped to increase funding and awareness of the grants over the last several years. In the most recent spending bill that was signed into law, she helped to boost the program’s funding to a record $90 million for current fiscal year 2020. In addition, she has facilitated and announced grants for houses of worship and nonprofits in her district in Queens.

“We have all seen the increase in hate crimes across the country, including right here in the New York area,” said Meng. “These attacks and threats can happen anywhere, at any time, and houses of worship and nonprofit facilities must be prepared. They must do everything possible to protect their properties, and Nonprofit Security Grants can be a huge resource in that critical effort. Safety and security must always be the number one priority. I continue to encourage all houses of worship and high-risk nonprofits to apply for these grants, and I thank all who attended this important workshop.”