SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hate crimes are on the rise across the country.
Federal funding has been awarded to more than two dozen faith-based service organizations at heightened risk of a hate crime or terror attack across Massachusetts.
10 of the faith-based organizations that will be funded are here in the western part of the state. This comes as local organizations have dealt with hate crimes of their own in recent years.
Governor Maura Healey announced Wednesday more than $4 million in federal funds awarded to address security needs at faith-based and community service organizations. These organizations are at heightened risk of a hate crime or terror attack. More than 30 organizations will be benefiting across the state, 10 in western Massachusetts.
They include five in Springfield, three in Westfield and two in Longmeadow. The Healey administration said these grants reaffirm their commitment to enhancing community preparedness and safeguarding sacred community spaces from bias-motivated attacks.
The organizations were awarded anywhere from 50 to 150 thousand dollars. Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky of Yeshiva Academy, telling 22News, “Unfortunately throughout the country there’s been many incidents in schools, public schools, private schools, churches, synagogues, and it’s amazing that the government is helping all the institutions.”
An East Longmeadow man was charged with the attempted arson of Ruth’s House assisted living facility in Longmeadow back in 2020. Ruth’s House is run by the Jewish Geriatric Services Lifecare system. Longmeadow Police said they investigated the incident as a hate crime.
The Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research said that the intention of this program is to ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth can gather in prayer, receive medical care, or obtain services with the knowledge that they are safe and protected.