WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced $530,000 in Department of Homeland Security grants in Montgomery County, MD to develop violence prevention programs focused on LGBTQ+ youth.

The federal investment comes through the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2023. This funding will help the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) develop programming to address the risk of violence and negative mental health outcomes faced by LGBTQ+ youth in D.C. and Montgomery County. SMYAL's program will provide in-school support and resilience programming for LGBTQ+ youth, training for school staff and youth service providers and support for parents and caregivers.

“The rise of targeted violence against LGBTQ+ communities demands additional investments to protect young people at risk. We know that education and training have the power to provide much-needed tools to counter hate and bias,” said the lawmakers. “Funding for these education programs and in-school supports will help expand resources so all Marylanders can feel safe in school and their communities.”

The TVTP Grant Program, administered by the DHS Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the sole U.S. federal government grant program dedicated to helping local communities develop and strengthen their capabilities in combatting targeted violence and terrorism.