About the Community First-Public Safety (CFPS) City Council Fund

The application is now closed. For additional information about the 2022 Application Overview (with Program Description & Application Questions), click here.


It is the goal of the City Council to have strong partnerships with community organizations and individuals that will align their strategies to reduce and prevent domestic and gun violence in our communities. Domestic violence and gun violence especially affect communities that have also experienced historical disinvestment. It is important for the Council to continue making strategic investments in these areas with community partners who have effective experience in reaching out to historically marginalized neighborhoods.

Therefore, City Council issued a request for proposals for the second year of the Community-First Public Safety Council Fund. Proposals included direct support, prevention, intervention, outreach, and referral services. Applications were reviewed by a committee made up of city staff and leaders from the existing community-first public safety initiative partners funded by the City of St. Paul. They made recommendations to the City Council for funding, and final proposals were approved and adopted by the City Council in April 2022.

Successful proposals demonstrated plans to do at least 3 of the tasks below:

  • Reach out and engage community youth between the ages of 13-25 years old related to reducing gun violence
  • Engage and connect residents to services and support that will disrupt and prevent gun and/or domestic violence
  • Lead with restorative justice practices where applicable and possible
  • Focuses on promoting positive self-esteem, healthy relationships, emotional intelligence and building positive emotion management practices
  • Address community healing and trauma response needs stemming from the public health and psychological impacts of residents and neighborhoods deeply and negatively impacted by gun violence and interpersonal violence

2022 Awardees:

30,000 Feet

30,000 Feet (30K) has provided creative learning opportunities and apprenticeships to underemployed youth and those who have had contact with the juvenile delinquency system since 2013. 30K was founded by Kevin Robinson and Vanessa Young, African Americans from the Saint Paul community who became concerned with the high numbers of disenfranchised youth in Saint Paul who were not having their academic and social/emotional needs met. They recognized a need for out-of- school programs that supported academic achievement, positive behaviors, and provided structure for marginalized students. 30K not only fills the void for these types of out-of-school and summer activities, but also addresses the disconnection of youth in East Saint Paul through culturally relevant programming. The funds will be used for a direct support staff to support youth who are on Ramsey county probation. The direct support staff position will help the youth set goals, connect with mental health resources, and also work with them to establish a restorative plan for those who have caused harm in the community. Also the transformative justice coordinator will help with self-regulation and communal healthy peer pressure, with the goal of helping the youth be successful post participating in 30,000 Feet.

Website: https://30kft.art/

Guns Down Love Up

Our mission is to promote Love, Peace, and Community Collectiveness to end gun violence in the Twin Cities. Guns Down Love Up reimagines community safety and what it looks like for African Americans around community violence and gun violence. We invest in our community by working alongside community members to provide impactful change. Our programs address youth and community violence, focusing on prevention, intervention, and restorative practices within the African American community. Our efforts are focused on decreasing gun violence by increasing positive community interactions, conversations, spaces, and events and creating programming to heal and prevent future retaliation.

Website: https://gunsdownloveup.com/

Hmong 18 Council, Inc.

The Hmong 18 Council, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Hmong people in the state of Minnesota since 1997. The organization’s mission lives on, to bring positive changes in the Hmong community through prevention and attempts to resolve domestic and gun violence, solve conflicts among Hmong families and married couples, and advocate for social justice, equity, and to improve the lives of individuals and families. Our grant proposal is to serve this ethnic Hmong minority population in Saint Paul, specifically a marginalized community that has a high rate of domestic violence and domestic abuse among both young and adult couples, and a high rate of gun violence that has risen to the forefront of the community.

Our monthly youth workshops seek to decrease gun violence by providing behavioral and mental health support to young people. Youth, gang and gun violence are widespread in the Hmong community. It is one of the major leading causes of death for young Hmong individuals between the age of 13-25. Deaths resulting from Hmong youth violence, specifically gang related, are part of the problem in many of Hmong events such as July 4th Soccer Tournament shooting (example: 2 Hmong young men charged after teen fatally shot at St. Paul Hmong Freedom Festival). Hmong youth violence can also affect the health of every Hmong family in the community. Together with the Hmong 18 Council, Inc. and its Education Department & Community Committee, our staff and board members plan to partner with local educators, trainers, and family members in developing comprehensive youth violence prevention plans that are based on the best available evidence from research and practice to educate and help our Hmong youth. Addition, we hope to Youth and Parents Education Workshops, with professional facilitators/trainers on healthy family relationships, to educate Hmong youth/parents on the importance of building healthy teen relationship skills and refusal skills that keep children safe from gun violence and gang involvement.

We will be partnering with Hmong professional counselors and mental health practitioners to provide effective marriage and family building positive emotion management skills/practices sessions. Our goal is to provide sessions where Hmong married couples and parents to learn about effective strategies to positive self-esteem and healthy relationship and/or marriage, as well as sessions about co-parenting skills that Hmong couples and parents can use effectively to raise their youth by uplifting each other through emotional intelligence and building positive emotion management in the family. We also plan to provide educational sessions on improving emotional intelligence at home, in the workplace, and at schools for both Hmong youth and parents. We believe that emotional intelligence is a crucial component of our Hmong youth and adults if they learn how to practice or manage their emotions, as well as recognize self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and social skills.

Website: https://hmong18council.org/

Karen Organization of Minnesota

In 2008 Karen refugees established the Karen Organization of Minnesota. KOM has rapidly grown into a service hub for refugees and immigrants building lives in Minnesota.  Karen Organization of Minnesota is  sponsoring Asian Youth Outreach (AYO). AYO was created by Karen and Karenni community members and activist Tou SaiK Lee. AYO’s objective is to address the underlying causes of gang involvement for at-risk Asian youth through mentorship and support services. AYO members have worked for decades alongside a myriad of local organizations to address issues of poverty, abuse, addiction, and trauma. Our members include former Asian gang members, counselors, and educators, in addition to community activists, organizers, and liaisons.

CFPS funds will support KOM and AYO to implement a new peer mentorship program between Karen young adults and at-risk youth. KOM’s Youth Health Educator, Ner Mu, and AYO Co-Founder Tou SaiK Lee will coordinate training for about 8-10 youth mentors in summer 2021. Youth mentors will receive training in substance use prevention, mental health, and treatment resources for at-risk youth. (The curriculum is secular as KOM is not a faith-based organization and works with both Christian and Buddhist communities.) KOM and AYO will also bring in external trainers with expertise in youth violence prevention, restorative justice practices, and peer mentorship skills including Vandy Moua, Long Vang, and Chacho Estrada. Following training, youth mentors will meet with mentees weekly at The Urban Village in Payne-Phalen from June-December 2020. AYO staff and mentors will work to design weekly group activities and field trips along with 1:1 mentor-mentee time. Mentors will offer coaching and emotional support for at-risk youth to address challenges in their lives and create goals and plans for the future.

Website: https://www.mnkaren.org/

Ujamaa Place

Ujamaa Place is a gender and culturally-centric organization whose focus is on African American youth and men who are suffering multiple barriers to becoming stable, productive members of society. These barriers include being under-educated; unemployed and/or unemployable; affiliated with gangs; harboring a criminal history; suffering from homelessness; associated with drug abuse and experiencing a general marginalization by greater society. Those served live in poverty, which not only affects them and their families; it also has a direct impact on our community and state resources.

Ujamaa Place provides programming within a community environment that assists African Americans enrolled with mental and chemical health wellness, stable housing, and re-engagement with their families, work and life skills essential to self-sufficiency, with a strong focus on work-entry programming, education and workforce training and employment, and financial management curriculum. Nine out of ten Black male youth we serve with do better in school, stay out of the juvenile justice system, and resolve family conflicts without police intervention, hospitalization, or removal from their home. 

Ujamaa Place changes the lives of these young men, which will also impact the lives of those that surround them.  Every investment into our Ujamaa Place men reaps untold benefits for their future. 

Website: https://ujamaaplace.org/

Last Edited: May 27, 2022