Boardwalk Waterview Wisconsin
Wisconsin Community Safety Fund

Wisconsin Community Safety Fund 2022-2025

Funding Summary


Funds made available through the State of Wisconsin's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.


$10.4 million granted to ten organizations.


December 1, 2022 - December 31, 2025


MCW News Release: $10 million in violence prevention grants awarded to communities statewide from the Wisconsin Community Safety Fund.

The Wisconsin Community Safety Fund (WCSF) was created to enhance community safety and individual well-being through the implementation of evidence-informed prevention strategies intended to reach those most directly impacted by violence in local Wisconsin communities. The CIC made this round of funding available to support community-centered projects outside of traditional criminal justice approaches to public safety. The State of Wisconsin has partnered with the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Injury Center (MCW CIC) to administer this statewide grant program made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Projects that received funding through the WCSF focus on priority areas such as firearm violence, sexual and gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, adverse childhood experiences, youth violence, and suicide, as well as the intersection across various forms of violence. In addition the project address the historic increases in violence that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure funds were distributed to the most impactful projects, a public Request for Applications was announced in Fall 2022. Submissions were reviewed by an independent selection committee that included expertise in domestic violence, public health, philanthropy, youth development, emergency medicine, and violence prevention. As funded partners in the WCSF program, the grantees will receive ongoing training to address violence as a public health issue and technical assistance in the areas of grants management, program implementation, and data collection and evaluation. MCW allocated $10.4 million in grants through 10 contracts with selected applications. Projects are funded until December 31, 2025.

Funded Projects:

The Alma Center based in Milwaukee will design a statewide online and telephone intervention and prevention program called Breaking the Cycle to engage people at risk of, or who have a history of, causing harm to their intimate partner and/or family.
• The City of Green Bay will create an Office of Violence Prevention to increase community safety using stakeholder collaboration, resource coordination, community engagement, and community violence intervention strategies to address increased gun violence.
• The City of Kenosha will establish the Key Emerging Leaders Academy to engage youth at highest risk for experiencing or engaging in community violence by increasing access to experiences that develop talents, life skills, and mentor relationships historically absent in six central neighborhoods.
• The City of Racine will establish a citywide Office of Violence Prevention, engage local stakeholders, and develop a gun violence intervention plan with a focus on youth and developed based on community input and trends.
Gundersen Health System will expand its Crime Victim Services (CVS) unit to address increasingly complex needs related to sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and gender-based violence since the pandemic; add CVS advocates; invest in partnerships; and increase capacity for culturally responsive and equitable care in a six-county service area.
Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin will increase coordination to expand prevention, education, and outreach strategies to specific priority-populations to increase community safety and prevent sexual assault, gender-based violence, and child abuse.
• The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians will expand services that prevent and respond to sexual assault using culturally specific approaches such as “Inga-dabinawe’aag” and “Ing-azhe-ganoodaan,” and outreach through cultural settings to youth, adults, and Tribal community.
Southeast Asian Healing Center (SEAHC) based in Madison will address increased suicide risk and gender-based violence due to the pandemic using culturally specific strategies in Southeast Asian communities including education, prevention, and therapy with the goal of increasing overall community wellbeing.
• The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics will expand their hospital-linked Violence Intervention Program; formalize a partnership with community partner, Focused Interruption; and conduct a gun violence analysis to identify strategies to address prevention, reduction, and response to gun violence.
• The United Way of the Fox Cities’ DRIVE Health Project is a sustainable and culturally specific model to improve community wellbeing by addressing unmet mental/emotional needs and suicide risk factors in the Hmong, Black, and Hispanic/Latinx communities by creating Community Health Workers, a dedicated peer support phoneline, and mental health literacy and anti-stigma education campaigns.

Program Accomplishments to Date

Key Program Components

  • The WCSF program utilizes a comprehensive approach to training and technical assistance to operationalize the WCSF mission, goals, and objectives. The areas of training and technical assistance include: grants management, project implementation and data and evaluation. The purpose is to ensure successful implementation of funded projects and build a statewide network of practitioners who approach violence as a public health issue.
  • Learning and support are provided through a Community of Practice and consistent communication across the funded projects. The WCSF Community of Practice reflects a praxis of intentional meetings and activities which include peer sharing and learning and center collaboration in applying a health equity lens to violence prevention work. Topic areas of Community of Practice meetings include:
    • Addressing violence as a public health and equity issue.
    • Learning about different forms of violence and how they relate to a statewide approach to community safety and wellbeing for all.
    • Cultivating partnerships that leverage resources for comprehensive community safety and violence prevention.
    • Project implementation, evaluation, and communications.

Key Milestones


  • Congress passes the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which includes funding for violence prevention.
  • The CIC receives a $17 million allocation of ARPA funding from the State of Wisconsin to aid in reducing violence stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MCW creates the WCSF.


  • WCSF grant selection process developed with input from interdisciplinary experts.
  • Grant announcement released, and 29 applications were received.
  • With input from an advisory committee, 10 finalists selected to receive funding.


  • January - Program staff are hired to operationalize grant program.
  • March - Grantees begin to execute grant contracts and initiate planning and implementation of projects.
  • May - Launch of WCSF Community of Practice for grantees.
  • June - CIC hosts WCSF Symposium which drew media coverage from local outlets.
  • October - Data and evaluation planning process begins for grantees.
  • December - Last of five virtual Community of Practice meetings occurred for the year.

WCSF Reach

To date, 24 positions focused on community safety and well-being across the state have been created with WCSF funding. The work of the WCSF grantees reaches:

  • 1 Tribal community
  • 8 cities
  • 28 counties

Types of Projects Selected

WCSF projects focus on addressing a variety of issues related to community safety and well-being. Focus areas include (number in parentheses indicates number of projects focused on the issue):

  • Gender-based and intimate partner violence prevention (4)
  • Firearm violence prevention (3)
  • Suicide prevention (2)
  • Youth violence prevention (1)

Contact Information

For questions about the WCSF, grantee work, or other information, contact the WCSF team at

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP0135 awarded to the Medical College of Wisconsin via the Wisconsin Department of Administration by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.