Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $800,000)
Community Life Line (CLL), in partnership with East St. Louis Police Department, Illinois State Police, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois, is requesting $800,000 in federal grant funds for the Lifeline Interrupting Violence through Engagement (LIVE) Project.
The LIVE Project aims to enhance existing efforts to address crime and violence and build a safe and thriving East St. Louis, Illinois. From October 2021 through September 2024, CLL and its partners will develop and implement a comprehensive, data-driven, place-based plan to reduce crime and violence, increase community trust, improve public safety, and spur revitalization within the city’s southeast neighborhoods, located predominately in the 62205 zip code. The project boundary is a 2.24 square mile area from 8th Street to 26th Street and Bond Avenue to St. Clair Avenue with a population of approximately 4,000. This area falls within target area of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Grant, is adjacent to the target area of a previous BCJI Grant, and is also adjacent to the target area of a Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant.
In coordination with PSN and other community-based efforts, the LIVE Project will address the neighborhood’s persistent gun, drug, and gang violence. CLL will work with residents and community stakeholders to advance four interconnected objectives: 1) Cultivate resident leadership, 2) Interrupt and deter violence, 3) Invest in youth and young adults, and 4) Improve build environment. Activities will include equipping residents with knowledge, skills and tools to exercise their leadership in addressing crime and violence; increasing the capacity of community members and law enforcement to implement Community Violence Intervention strategies; providing positive youth development programs and opportunities to prevent violence and help young people thrive; and advancing policies and projects to improve neighborhood safety and spur economic development.
The BCJI planning process will include comprehensive data collection and analysis with the support of REJIS, the lead research partner. Day-to-day operations will be facilitated by a project coordinator managed by CLL. Coordination activities will include regular meetings, continuous communications, ongoing resource alignment, and direct engagement with residents and partners to ensure activities are deployed, data is tracked and shared, resources are appropriately used, and course corrections occur as needed.
Additional partners include the local school district and housing authority, several human service organizations, and East Side Aligned, which is the city’s cross-sector collaborative championing equity, justice, and well-being with and for families of East St. Louis.