New funding from the Department of Homeland Security will allow houses of worship, nonprofits, and faith group to apply for grant money to bolster on-site security and planning. Through the Department’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, organizations can request up to $150,000 to hire more security personnel, install cameras around facilities, training, and safety planning.
Local leaders and elected officials are encouraging eligible organizations to better prepare their communities, following a violent summer of attacks and continued threats on houses of worships across the DMV area. Black communities were especially hit hard with counter-protests against Black Lives Matter supporters and other racist threats, along with other protests damaging historical churches. Faith communities in specified counties are eligible. For Virginia, that means Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William counties, along with the city of Alexandria. Groups in Washington, D.C. along with Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The deadline to apply is April 23rd, with groups finding out who will be awarded by July and security grants dispersed by late September 2021.
While security and armed personnel may not be key to the teachings of your faith, operators of houses of worship must confront that this is part of our modern world and the effective management of a community. There have been far too many attacks for board members and administrators to ignore this reality. However, there is an ally who can help devise an appropriate strategy for your worshipers to help them feel safe, welcome outsiders, and prevent concern that the facilities are becoming too closely regulated.
The churches, ministries, and nonprofits lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC can help your group put together a plan of action, including applying for security the grants if deemed beneficial. Call today at 757-LAW-0000 or contact us online to schedule an evaluation. Based in Virginia Beach, we are pleased to help our neighbors in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and Eastern Shore. We also serve our clients throughout the United States through our network of associated attorneys.