Delco lawmakers announce $300K grant for Upper Darby

Grant will establish program to create space for young people, activities and supplies

HARRISBURG, Dec. 1 – Delaware County state Rep. Mike Zabel and Rep.-elect Gina Curry announced a $308,122 grant has been awarded to Upper Darby Township. The grant was one of 40 projects approved throughout the state through the Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.   

“This grant provides the funds needed to establish a valuable, safe space, as well as vital programs for the children and youth in our district,” Zabel said. “The funds for this project will create a place where young people can go to receive homework help, interact with peers, take part in activities and take classes.”

Upper Darby Township requested the funds to establish a community policing center to serve the needs of township residents. The program will be modeled after the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative and, among other things, provide the funds needed for rental space, one full-time staffer, two outreach workers, supplies for activities, computers and school bus rentals.

“Understanding the immediate needs of the Upper Darby Township community is imperative in the development of equitable programming and the creation of safe, accessible resources for our youth and families. This collaborative effort to build, grow and provide secure, recreational and educational opportunities is essential for violence prevention and overall success for our community,” said Rep.-elect Gina H. Curry, who will soon be sworn in to represent the 164th Legislative District that covers parts of Upper Darby Township.  

Trained outreach workers will collect referrals from the school district and police department to identify young people who might benefit from this new program, and the outreach workers will speak to parents about their children’s participation.

The project was one of more than 300 applications submitted for state funding. Announced in September, the program is intended to support local intervention in using preventative measures to curb gun and group violence.