Following Peters’ Calls, Annual Spending Bill Includes Robust Funding to Help Protect Houses of Worship from Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. Following calls from U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) will receive $305 million in the upcoming government spending bill to meet the needs of houses of worship and other nonprofit organizations that want to secure their facilities against potential terrorist attacks. This is a significant increase in funding for the NSGP over the previous year. The program provides grants to help at-risk nonprofits plan for and safeguard their facilities against potential attacks. Grants can be used to harden facilities, promote emergency preparedness training, and strengthen security coordination between communities, emergency responders and state and local government agencies. In 2022, $8.4 million in grant funding was awarded to nonprofits and faith-based organizations across Michigan. Peters joined his colleagues in calling for the program to receive robust funding last week.

“The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is essential to helping houses of worship protect themselves in the face of increasing threats that are all too often inspired by hate,” said Senator Peters. “That is why I have long fought to increase funding for this vital program so religious institutions and other nonprofits can improve their security, provide a safe haven for their communities, and ensure that Americans do not have to fear for their safety where they live, work, or practice their faith.” 

Data collected by organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and Center for Strategic and International Studies show our nation faces the highest level of extremist violence based on race and religion in decades. This includes deadly attacks at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Funding from the NSGP can be used by religious and other non-profit institutions for securing facilities, personnel training, and other activities to help protect against violent attacks.

In his role on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Peters has long fought to help protect faith-based and nonprofit institutions that are under threat from terror attacks. Peters convened two hearings to examine needed actions to address the rise of white supremacist, faith-based and anti-government violence. Last Congress, Peters led bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law, to authorize additional funding for the in-demand program, and has led bipartisan calls for the program to get robust funding.