Grants To Combat Graffiti

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. has announced it will increase 2009 grant amounts to help communities step up local graffiti prevention activities.

The 2009 Graffiti Hurts® Grant Program will offer three grants of $2,500, an increase of $500 for each grant over 2008 awards. Grants are offered to a community/eligible group located or operating in a city with an under 100,000 population, one between 100,000 and 300,000 population, and one over 300,000 population.

“The Graffiti Hurts Grant Program supports grassroots efforts that improve local quality of life and engage individuals in taking personal responsibility for their neighborhoods,” says Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Matt McKenna. “Communities need resources to more effectively combat graffiti vandalism, and we thank The Sherwin-Williams Company for stepping up to help meet those needs.”

Proposed projects can address graffiti prevention and education, rapid removal, or help to enforce local anti-graffiti laws. Programs that focus on prevention initiatives, including Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), and engaging and educating youth are encouraged. Funds must be used for projects that begin by Fall 2009 and are completed no later than December 31, 2010.

The following groups are eligible to apply for a Graffiti Hurts® grant:

  • Nonprofit, Civic, and Community Organizations, including neighborhood groups (e.g., Neighborhood Watch), crime prevention associations, civic clubs or organizations, and other non-profit groups.
  • Youth Groups/Schools, including any group of youth such as Girl/Boy Scouts, 4-H, Girls/Boys Clubs, YW/YMCAs, and students in a class, grade, or school club.
  • Government Agencies, including city, county, state, and federal government agencies, or subdivisions within these agencies (e.g., department of public works), and police departments or other law enforcement.

(Businesses that make or operate graffiti removal equipment or technologies are not eligible.)

The application deadline is June 5, 2009, and grant award recipients will be announced by August 1, 2009. An application can be downloaded at the Keep America Beautiful Web site or at the Graffiti Hurts® Web site.

Background And Past Grant Recipients
Graffiti Hurts® was developed in 1996 through a partnership between Keep America Beautiful, a non-profit education and community improvement organization, and The Sherwin-Williams Company, maker of Krylon paint, to respond to the blight of graffiti vandalism in communities nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, graffiti contributes to lost revenue associated with reduced ridership on transit systems, reduced retail sales, and declines in property value.

Last year’s grant recipients were the Kent Police Department (WA), which enlisted volunteers to “adopt” 10 graffiti-prone locations; ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey worked with at-risk youth on graffiti education and service learning; and the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (N), which used CPTED principles to prevent graffiti in 10 neighborhood locations.

In 2007, grant recipients were the YMCA of Riverside City and County (CA), which created a Graffiti Free Zone between two YMCAs, and Deming, NM, which worked with at-risk youth to eradicate graffiti by 50% within one year.