Access Control, Emergency Preparedness, Safety, Security

Amid Rise in Hate Crimes, DHS Offers More Security Grants for Religious and Nonprofit Groups

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will distribute $160 million in Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) funds as a first tranche of additional funding that the Biden administration secured to protect faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations against targeted attacks. The announcement accompanies the DHS’s release of an amended Notice of Funding Opportunity that will now enable qualifying institutions and organizations to apply for these additional NSGP funds.

The $160 million in additional funds are a portion of the $390 million that were included in the fiscal year 2024 National Security Supplemental, a key priority of the administration as it continues to intensify its efforts to combat the dramatic increase in hate crimes and other forms of targeted violence against faith-based institutions, such as houses of worship and religious schools, and nonprofit organizations. In total for fiscal year 2024, the administration has secured $664 million for the NSGP, more than double last year’s $305 million appropriation. Earlier this year, the DHS announced $274.5 million in available NGSP funds and intends to make the balance of those funds available later this year.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes and other forms of violence targeted against faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The additional Nonprofit Security Grant Program funding that we are announcing today will provide these institutions and organizations with much-needed resources to strengthen their security and protect their communities from harm.”

According to the DHS, hate crimes and other forms of targeted violence have increased sharply since the October 7, 2023, terrorist attacks against Israel. In light of the changing threat environment, the NSGP has become a more important resource to faith-based and nonprofit groups to strengthen their security posture. In 2023, more than 2,200 groups utilized over $305 million in NSGP funding for security cameras, evacuation plans, additional warning and alert systems, gates and lighting, access control systems, and training programs for staff.

According to the DHS, the distribution of grant funds is one element of the agency’s multi-pronged strategy to protect communities and their institutions from targeted violence. Other examples of DHS work include:

  • Releasing the “Resources and Information for Faith and Community Leaders Regarding the Israel – Hamas Conflict” webpage in October, which continues to be updated with threat assessments;
  • Distributing a “Protecting Places of Worship” resource guide to synagogues, religious schools, mosques, community centers, and other nonprofits in partnership with the FBI;
  • Providing Protective Security Advisors in every state to guide and advise faith communities on how to most effectively secure their facilities with existing resources;
  • Releasing the “Physical Security Performance Goals” to help houses of worship and other faith-based organizations enhance their security; and
  • Convening the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council and launching the Protecting Places of Worship initiative, an effort co-led by the DHS, Department of Justice, and White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

More info on the NSGP is available here.

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