Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Health Commissioner Wen Announce New Federal Grants to Support Violence Prevention Efforts

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Health Commissioner Wen Announce New Federal Grants to Support Violence Prevention Efforts

$1.5 million in funding from U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase support for male violence survivors, support Safe Streets expansion

BALTIMORE, Md. (October 28, 2015)— Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined with federal officials today to announce $1.5 million in new federal grants focused on violence prevention efforts in Baltimore City.

“Changing our city’s culture of violence requires more than efforts from our Police Department,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We truly need a community-wide approach, and these grants targeted at supporting the anti-violence efforts of our Health Department reflect that approach.”

Joining Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Dr. Wen at a City Hall press conference to announce the grants were Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Kristina Rose, Deputy Director of the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime; and Joanne Grossi, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Just like the flu or another infectious disease, violence is contagious, it spreads, and it causes fear and havoc, and just like other diseases, we can prevent and treat violence through evidence and science,” said.Dr. Wen. “That’s why we are expanding programs like Safe Streets, and why, thanks to these new federal grants, we will be able to do more than ever before to treat violence as a public health issue.”

The three grants from the U.S. Department of Justice include:

  • $999,564 from the Office for Victims of Crime to more effectively reach male survivors of violence and their families. During the three-year project period, these partners will convene a planning group to develop a culturally-relevant, trauma-informed curriculum for survivors, establish a standardized and multidisciplinary shooting response protocol, and implement a plan to increase public awareness of the effects of trauma and victimization.
  • $278,000 from the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention to implement strategies and evidence-based programs to reduce youth violence. As a means of addressing school climate issues, the Baltimore City Health Department and the Baltimore Public School System aim to enhance the capacity of schools to successfully implement and sustain the school-wide positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS) model.
  • $70,000 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to integrate the faith community into activities aimed at the prevention and reduction of youth violence and victimization within and around the Safe Streets Baltimore areas. Specifically, this funding will support a Faith Community Coordinator position to conduct outreach to Baltimore’s diverse faith-based community which serves and surrounds the Safe Streets areas.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) with $175,000 to fund a pilot of Safe Streets in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

“Violence devastates individuals and families and can undermine the very fabric of our communities,” said HHS Regional Director Grossi. “The good news is that there is hope—we know what works to prevent violence. The federal government is looking forward to collaborating with NACCHO and the city of Baltimore to prevent the violence and foster a safe and healthy environment for all residents.”

A Request for Proposals is currently offering community- based organizations in West Baltimore the opportunity to bring the program credited with reducing gun violence to their neighborhoods.

In 2014, Safe Streets workers had 15,000 client interactions and mediated 880 conflicts. More than 80 percent of interactions were deemed to be “likely” or “very likely” to result in gun violence. Three of the four sites have gone over a year without a fatal shooting.


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