GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In the last few days, there is no question that violence in Grand Rapids neighborhoods needs to addresses. There have been six shootings in the last four days.

An alliance between city staff, nonprofits and other business organizations has come together and is reaching out to the community in hopes of finding new and creative ideas that will curb the violence. 

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The Safe Alliances for Everyone (SAFE) Task Force is hosting a "Pitch and Highlight" night to listen to public ideas Tuesday evening. It's happened from 6 until 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Schools Administration Building, 1331 Franklin St. SE.

Participants will get five minutes to present their idea and show how it will be effective in reducing violence in Grand Rapids. Ideas must address issues that 15- to 24-year-olds in the community face. A panel of up to five judges will review proposals and applications. 

Nonprofits will compete for a partnership with the SAFE Task Force and $10,000 to support their efforts to reduce violence in the community. Individuals will compete for the partnership and $1,000 to support their concepts. The Task Force will fund up to five organizations and two individuals for a total of $52,000.

“Some of the best ideas to reduce violence in Grand Rapids come from our own community,” according to Third Ward Commissioner Senita Lenear, who serves as liaison to the task force. 

“The SAFE Task Force wants to promote and assist in the achievement of those ideas. We look forward to listening to these pitches and learning about new proposals that can benefit all of Grand Rapids.”

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