US Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), New York’s senior appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee, encouraged local houses of worship and nonprofit organizations to start preparing their applications for the federal government’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program if they are interested in seeking funding from the initiative this year.

The program provides synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, and nonprofit institutions such as community centers, schools, and other facilities with federal grants to improve the safety and security of their properties so that they can guard against threats and attacks.

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that administers the program, has informed Meng’s office that it will soon open this year’s application process. The Congresswoman’s office was also alerted by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services that there will be an extremely quick turnaround time for the applications this year, likely less than two weeks. Although the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a federal grant program, applicants must submit their applications to the state government.

Those who submit applications from Meng’s congressional district can contact the Congresswoman’s office for assistance and letters of support. The phone number for Meng’s office is 202-225-2601.

Last month, Meng announced that she helped secure an unprecedented $250 million for Nonprofit Security Grant Program, a $70 million increase over the record breaking $180 million that she helped obtain last year.

Funding from the grants covers target-hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities such as barriers, gates, safety gear, surveillance equipment, and other safety measures.

“The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a crucial initiative to help keep our communities safe,” said Meng. “With the quick turnaround this year, I encourage local houses of worship and nonprofits interested in applying to immediately get their applications started, if they have not already done so. It is critical for our facilities to take advantage of this important funding.”

In February, Meng held a virtual workshop to help Queens houses of worship and nonprofits learn about the program, and how they can successfully apply for funding. She has also announced facilities throughout her congressional district that have received money from the program.