Haverhill Armenian Apostolic Church in Hye Point and Temple Emanuel Congregation in Andover are among 37 faith-based nonprofit organizations across the state receiving federal grants to improve physical security and protect against terrorist attacks and motivated by hatred.
The Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Point received $125,000 and Congregation Temple Emanuel received $150,000 from the US Department of Homeland Security’s nonprofit Security Grant Program. In Massachusetts, the money is managed by the State Office of Grants and Research of the Executive Office of Public Safety.
“Protecting our Commonwealth means protecting the organizations that are the backbone of our communities. We are committed to ensuring that these nonprofit organizations and places of worship are protected and that everyone can feel safe as they gather and pray,” Governor Charlie Baker said at the fourth annual seminar on security and safety of faith-based organizations last week in Southbridge.
The money was part of a pool totaling more than $4.1 million. The grants were awarded through a competitive application process to nonprofit organizations deemed to be at high risk of terrorist attack or hate crime.
“These grants ensure that the nonprofit institutions where community members congregate have the resources they need to improve safety. Ensuring the right to assemble safely and practice faith without fear is fundamental to our public safety goals,” Public Safety Secretary Terrence Reidy said.
Office of Grants and Research Executive Director Kevin Stanton added, “Places of congregation such as houses of worship have unique security needs. Grants awarded through this program will help grantees increase the safety of their facilities while continuing to provide the open and welcoming gathering places that their communities rely on.