California Enhances Safety in Faith-Based Communities

Increasing the state’s capability to protect faith-based communities from hate, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced increased funding to strengthen security at religious institutions, places of worship and other organizations across the state.  

Administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), a total of $40 million in funds is available through the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program (CSNSGP) for nonprofit organizations that face elevated risks of violent attacks and hate crimes to install critical physical security enhancements to safeguard vulnerable communities. 

“Community investments like these are critical to support our broader effort to protect public safety,” said Cal OES Director Nancy Ward. “Californians should not have to worry about their safety when visiting a nonprofit organization or house of worship.” 

The doubling of the program funding from $20 million to $40 million will increase safety and security at communities statewide. The program fully funds upgrades that include reinforced doors and gates, high-intensity lighting and alarms, access control, and more.  

Building on this initiative, on January 5, 2022, and again, on February 14, 2023, Cal OES continued its support by awarding a total of $95 million to 575 community groups statewide. Investing in the Safety of Our Communities 

With more than 700 organizations as recipients of the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program, this funding plays pivotal role in enhancing the resilience and well-being of communities across California and continue with this latest installment.  

Our community, many of them are concerned about coming out and exposing themselves to any possible danger. But when I tell them that we now have bulletproof windows, new security doors, security cameras and all the latest safety measures, that makes them feel much more safe.” 
Rabbi Marcus Zalman

Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo, Orange County

The Homeland Security Grant enabled my school to install cameras, access control doors, and sensor-burglar alarms to enhance the safety and security of students and staff on campus.” 
Jin Jr Shi

Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, Mendocino County

“It was a big deal to us. We’re quite happy that we were able to get this appropriate fencing for the school and it’s needs… It’s a human right to be able to practice your faith safely.” 
Daniel Walsh

Saint Peter - All Hallows' Parish, Sacramento County

“We face several financial challenges just to serve our community. Much needed security upgrades would have been a severe burden if we had to fund them ourselves. Thankfully, the Cal OES grants allowed us to create a safe environment in the face of unpredictable threats.” 
Hakim Booker

Masjid Al-Fatimah, Sacramento County

How to Apply 

To further explore the program and submit an application, please visit the California State Security Nonprofit Program webpage and access the application form 

The application period remains open through October 27, 2023.  

California’s Ongoing Commitment  

Over the past few years, Cal OES has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to bolstering community safety and security. In 2019, the agency allocated a substantial $60 million to various nonprofit organizations through security grants.  

In addition, this initiative builds upon California’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the safety and well-being of its diverse communities. Since 2019, the state has invested over $400 million in funding to increase community resources and address hate, including substantial grants for security infrastructure and support services for victims and survivors of hate acts. The Governor has also taken decisive action to protect communities against hate violence and discrimination.