Prince George's County

Prince George’s Council Awards Domestic Violence Grants

Eleven recipients received a portion of $500,000 from Prince George’s County Council to combat domestic violence.

The grant winners will receive the money this fiscal year toward housing, prevention, counseling and advocacy. About three dozen organizations applied for the funding.

“We’re building a safety net,” said Council Chairman Derrick Davis (D-District 6). “Public-private partnerships are what we shoot for in nonprofits collaborating and working together to deal with domestic violence. We are looking for nonprofits who are looking to partner … so we can provide a different level of service for those who experience domestic violence.”

Although county officials have touted the low crime rate, the jurisdiction has experienced the most domestic violence cases in the state.

According to a description from each of the award recipients, Prince George’s Community College received the highest grant at $120,000 for counseling services to hire a licensed clinician, offer services for domestic violence victims and provide workshops and other campus-wide programs.

Another organization, St. Matthew’s Housing Corp. of Bowie, will receive $35,600 to offer housing, counseling and financial planning for six families for up to two years.

The Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County in Brentwood won $50,000 to bring in a licensed clinical coordinator to oversee therapeutic services for domestic violence victims. The center offers temporary housing for domestic violence victims.

Sophie Ford, executive director of the center, said the person hired will work full-time with clients at the center’s emergency shelter, manage community-based services at the office and supervise interns.

“We will be able to streamline things across multiple programs so our clients will get a seamless level of care,” she said. “I appreciate the fact that the county saw fit to put this money out in the community and make it available.”

In terms of prevention, DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville received $40,000 to create a Sports Anti-Violence Environment (S.A.V.E.) program to help 2,000 total student athletes through a curriculum called the “Gridiron Terminal.”

DeMatha head football coach Elijah Brooks said athletes at the school will participate in the program in the fall, as well as partner with other high schools such as Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro and Eleanor Roosevelt in Greenbelt.

“It’s a serious concern in the athletic world with domestic violence,” he said. “We want to be instrumental in our community … in how to handle it and how to recognize it.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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