By Zalman Myer-Smith, Director of the Community Security Organization
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the $150,000 Security Grant for 2021!
This is the final opportunity to apply for the DHS Nonprofit Security Grant Program for 2021. DHS has now announced that the award amount can be up to $150,000 per site (an increase from last year) and applications will open in the next week or so. The applications initially go through your state’s emergency management office and then on to DHS. You apply to them, not directly to DHS/FEMA.
In the first two articles in this series on COLlive.com, we covered the site security assessment and how to prioritize the items you want to be installed.
Now we turn to the actual application and submission. This is a competitive grant and there is a scoring system. If your organization has previously received the grant there is a deduction and, more vitally, if there are inconsistencies in your application, security assessment, and supporting documentation, this may inhibit success or even make you ineligible.
The pool of funding has increased from $90 million to $180 million this year, however, there is always an excess of applications to sites actually being awarded. You should not be complacent as many other organizations and entities also apply.
Anti-Semitism is still prevalent. As the COVID 19 pandemic weakens and restrictions are lifted, it is highly likely based on Federal and other intelligence forecasts, that we will return to pre-COVID levels of antisemitic hate crimes and attacks. DHS just issued their National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletin highlighting current threats.
Visibly Jewish schools, centers, and schools are particularly vulnerable and are soft targets that need security upgrades. This opportunity should not be missed.
Some of the items allowable this year are contracted security officers, impact/bullet-resistant windows, impact doors, fences and gates, cameras, lighting, weapon detection systems, radios, and more.
It is incumbent upon every community leader, Rabbi, Rebbetzin, School Directors, and all Shluchim to ensure their operations offer the best levels of security to protect their facilities, programs, services, and communities.
For further information or guidance, please go to www.JewishCommunityGrants.com.