Fresno

Fresno’s controversial anti-gun program nets $300k, courtesy of massive Federal spending bill

Advance Peace, Fresno’s controversial gun violence prevention program, received funding from the federal government in the latest spending package. 

Congressman Jim Costa (D–Fresno) announced Monday that Advance Peace received $300,000 as it is one of the 10 local projects Costa secured in Community Project Funding in the Fiscal year 2022 spending bill that President Joe Biden recently signed into law. 

Advance Peace is operated by the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and previously received a $900,000 grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections, $125,000 from the City of Fresno as part of its annual budget and has also brought in funding through private donations. 

The program offers an 18-month fellowship which targets likely shooters to remove them from the cycle of gun violence in an effort to lead them to a healthy lifestyle. 

Advance Peace also includes a monthly-stipend that is paid out to the would-be shooters. 

“Thank you, Congressman Jim Costa, for working to ensure the $300,000 in federal funding for Advance Peace Fresno made it over the finish line,” said Emilia Reyes, CEO of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, in a statement. 

“Advance Peace Fresno is making a tremendous impact in our community, and we are honored to receive this significant federal acknowledgement and investment from Congress. Thanks to the support of community leaders and elected officials like Congressman Costa, Advance peace Fresno will continue its lifesaving work.” 

Costa previously pushed for $300,000 in federal funding last year but was unsuccessful. 

In addition to Advance Peace, Costa secured funding for nine other local projects in Fresno, Madera and Merced Counties. 

“Bringing federal funding back home is one of my top priorities. These projects support underserved areas and foster economic development, making a real difference in local infrastructure and providing more opportunity for folks to get ahead,” Costa said in a statement. 

“I am proud to have secured funding that will have a profound impact in the daily lives of my constituents. After all, these are hard-earned taxpayer dollars that go to Washington and it’s only appropriate that they come back to help people in our district.” 

The funding for the other projects is as follows: 

  • $475,000 for Fresno City College to develop the Nurse Pipeline Extension Project. 
  • $1.9 million for the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation to construct a 60,000 square-foot training center in West Fresno to assist women, minorities, veterans, ex-offenders, at-risk and disconnected young adults and other underrepresented individuals with job training and counseling. 
  • $500,000 to study the viability of a project to expand the single purpose Los Banos Creek into a multi-purpose reservoir. 
  • $2 million for the rehabilitation of the Merced County Courthouse Museum. 
  • $279,000 for the City of Dos Palos to replace a water clarifier at the city’s aging water plant to ensure uninterrupted service for residents. 
  • $3.5 million for the City of Madera to rehabilitate a 50-year-old corroded pipeline responsible for carrying the city’s wastewater to its treatment plant. 
  • $950,000 for the City of Gustine to finish the water loop line from North Ave. to East Ave. 
  • $625,000 for Madera Unified School District to ensure the district’s approximately 5,500 English Language Learners address unfinished learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • $475,000 for UCSF Fresno to construct an Alzheimer’s Center and Center on Aging, which will provide clinical services for age-related care and serve as a center for geriatric and neurological education for students and residents.
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.