ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—To help keep New Yorkers safe, Governor Hochul’s Office announced grant funding will be available for community-based organizations that focus on keeping kids off the streets and away from guns.

The state is looking for an organization that over the next two years, can help distribute $5 million in state funding to 45 community-based organizations that focus on youth programming in areas with high rates of gun violence.

“A lot of times organizations, they may have funding to do a specific thing, but because they are community-based, they end up addressing a number of different things,” explained Johanne Morne, Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner for New York State Department of Health. “Our hope is that these additional dollars will allow them to expand on the services they already have, and the ability to bring in even more young people to their services.”

This will help those ranging in age from 12-24 years-old receive services such as mental health support, as well as giving them the opportunity to engage in sports and art activities.

Charlie Muller, the Pastor of Victory Christian Church in Albany, knows just how important funding can be for community organizations. He estimates that through his gun buyback program, 100 guns have been taken off the street this year.

“Our buyback program is so much more than getting a gun off the street,” said Muller. “It’s directing individuals that turn in a gun to get help. It’s those who are out there confused or with the wrong group. So you need funding for that.”

Muller is hoping to get some of that state money to support his community programs.

The deadline to apply is November 8th, by 4pm. The application can be found here: