ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— Project RISE, which stands for Respond, Invest, Sustain, and Empower is a new program created in the aftermath of the pandemic to help prevent gun violence in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Newburgh, Mount Vernon and Yonkers.

“Project RISE is a way for communities to take some power and make some of the decisions about where funding is going, what programs should be funded, and really how they would like to combat gun violence,” explained Damon Bacote, New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Youth Justice.

The state allocated $2 million dollars in funding for each of the seven cities to go towards community-based organizations focusing on mental health, mentoring, victims, and grief services.

“It helps communities one— deal with what happens in the aftermath, because when people talk about gun violence, it’s not just somebody shooting somebody else. That person is connected to somebody on both sides of the gun. They each have families. So we are talking about how do we help a community collectively heal from something that collectively traumatized a community,” said Bacote.

Twelve grassroots organizations in Albany are receiving funding through Project RISE and grant recipients have already been announced in the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

This program is just one part in fight against gun violence. A total of $337 million was set aside in the state budget to focus on this issue.

Governor Hochul on Monday announced $30 million will be going towards prevention efforts in New York City.

“We are going to keep raising the bar because every New Yorker deserves the security of going to bed at night themselves knowing that they, their children, their loved ones are safe,” said Hochul.