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United Way of Lancaster County


Bench Mark receives state grant for anti-violence work

(Source: Bench Mark Program)

(Source: Bench Mark Program)
(Source: Bench Mark Program)

A Lancaster nonprofit has received a state grant to support is efforts to steer young people away from street violence.

Bench Mark Program will receive $143,968 through the Violence Intervention & Prevention grant program, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday.

It is one of 40 entities receiving a total of $15.7 million in the first round of funding for the grant program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency.

"These grants will provide communities and local organizations with necessary resources to disrupt violence, promote healing and make our communities safer," Gov. Wolf said in a statement.

The money funds grassroot programs including outreach and violence interruption efforts, social service referral programs, wraparound re-entry services, support for gun violence victims and survivors and youth mentorship.

In Bench Mark's case, the money will support the work of a case manager "who will specialize in supporting youth involved in gun violence and group violence," the administration said.

Bench Mark uses weight training as a foundation for long-term mentoring for at-risk youth aged 14 to 21. It was founded by Will Kiefer, who serves as executive director.