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A Clearwater-based nonprofit is being recognized by the NFL for a second time

Six people sit at a table under a tent outside.
Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services
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Courtesy
Gulf Coast JFCS is receiving $450,000 in grant funding from the NFL for its CALL program. It offers an alternative response to nonviolent 911 calls.

Gulf Coast JFCS is one of three organizations in the country to receive grants under the community-police relations category of the NFL's Inspire Change initiative.

The National Football League is once again partnering with a Clearwater-based nonprofit.

The Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) is one of 10 partner organizations in the country to receive renewed grants from the league.

It is receiving $450,000 for its Community Assistance and Life Liaison, or CALL, program. The service offers an alternative response to nonviolent 911 calls, where social workers and mental health professionals respond to instead of police officers.

Sandra Braham is the president and CEO of Gulf Coast JFCS. Through its partnership with the St. Petersburg Police Department and the city of St. Pete, she said CALL has served almost 15,000 people.

"Some of them are youth who are experiencing trauma and families that are experiencing trauma,” Braham said, “but not because of violence, because of issues within the family, or within the home or within the school."

She said the goal is to minimize youth involvement with law enforcement.

"That's the future,” Braham said. “That's what we really need. And that helps to build trust in our young communities."

The NFL awarded over $4 million through its Inspire Change initiative. Gulf Coast JFCS is one of three organizations in the country to receive grants under the community-police relations category.

The other organizations to receive grant funding include Atlanta Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative, Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Choose 180, Peace For DC, The National Urban League (NUL), Per Scholas and City Year.

Aileyahu Shanes is a WUSF Rush Family Radio News intern for the summer of 2024.