KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – United Way of Greater Knoxville, along with the city and Knox County governments, is launching a direct neighborhood fund to provide resources to the East Knoxville community in response to recent gun violence and tragic events.

Funds will be directed to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color nonprofit organizations doing violence interruption programming and youth and family enrichment and development work.

“Like many individuals here in Knoxville, our organization has been in mourning for families who have lost children in recent incidents of gun violence,” United Way of Greater Knoxville President & CEO Matt Ryerson said. “We have been looking for answers to very complex questions, and we are honored to be joined by the city and county to support the East Knoxville grassroots organizations that are doing incredible, life-changing – and lifesaving – work in addressing those complex questions.”

The fund will begin with seed funding totaling $200,000, $100,000 from United Way of Greater Knoxville and $50,000 from the city and county. All donations will go to support the agencies and organizations selected to receive funding by the committee.

Community leaders in East Knoxville will be the decision-makers in the grant-making process. They will name the fund, determine how to administer the money, and where to most effectively invest.

Both city Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs have expressed their support for the fund and the essential service it will help provide to the community.

To donate directly to the new United Way fund, click this link: United Way East Knox Neighborhood Fund.