camp fresno

Image via Camp Fresno 2021 report

published on June 28, 2022 - 11:44 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

The City of Fresno will receive millions in grant money from Gov. Newsom’s gun violence prevention program.

In early June, Newsom announced $156 million in grants as part of the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program (CalVIP).

Including Fresno, the funding will support 79 cities and nonprofit organizations implementing anti-violence programs focusing on the unique needs of their communities.

Fresno Deputy Mayor Matthew Grundy said the Dyer administration approached the governor’s office to secure funding from CalVIP.

Funds will be used to allow more youth and young adults most at risk of committing violence to attend Camp Fresno near Dinkey Creek.

The City of Fresno will get $2.2 million to administer CalVIP, with a focus to fund violence intervention at Camp Fresno and other violence prevention programs in Fresno.

About $1.4 million in funding will go to Camp Fresno.

“We wanted to secure funding for the purpose of increasing youth and young adult resilience against developmental and environmental threats in our high crime areas — to give them the opportunity to see something different and get into a neutral space out of the concrete jungle,” Grundy said.

The program will include counseling and mediation along with the change of scenery. The program’s target audience will be at-risk youth between the ages of 7 to 25.

Grundy said there will be a focus on recruiting campers from neighborhoods with higher-than-average rates of homicide, shootings and aggravated assault.

A portion of the funding will be used for the Fresno Summer Nights program, which consists of sports tournaments at park facilities throughout the city and street coalition training models to train people to perform community outreach.

Camp Fresno sits on 37 acres and has been operated by the City of Fresno since the 1920s. The city took over full operations from a third-party concessionaire in 2019.

The site has 70 structures in various states of repair. According to a 2015 site study by Clovis engineering consulting firm Blair Church & Flynn, Camp Fresno needed around $5.3 million for a full restoration.

There have been investments ever since, Grundy said, but there has been ongoing wear and tear as well.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, approximately $53 million of the $209 million that was available in CalVIP grant money remains unclaimed.

“The heart of the program is realizing the vision of One Fresno,” Grundy said. “In order to do that, we have to create opportunities, services, and support for everyone in our community, and that includes those that are disproportionately impacted by violent crime.”

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