Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $999,999)
Better Tomorrow (BT) is a project of Baystate Health (BH), in coordination with Roca, the Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County District Attorney. BH is seeking $999,998.40 in support of an innovative combination of hospital-based violence intervention services, a community-based long-term cognitive intervention model, restorative justice, and community organizing to reduce violence in Springfield, MA’s biggest hotspots for gun violence. While the hospital-based component of BT will serve all of Hampden County, the project will focus on its community-based crime prevention efforts in the following Springfield Communities, Brightwood, Forest Park, South End, Metro Center, Memorial Square, Six Corners, Old Hill, and McKnight (neighborhoods encompassed by zip codes 01103, 01104, 01105, 01108, and 01109.)
The BT partnership, which also includes a variety of the criminal justice and community-based service providers, is focused on reducing gun violence. The BT partnership is committed to creating long-term sustainable change, measurable through the reduction in violence with a specific focus on the reduction of retaliatory violence, while at the same time promoting positive alternatives to violence. BT will focus its community-based work on young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are driving violence in these critical hotspots. Hospital-based work will be delivered to all gunshot victims treated through BH’s trauma unit, and the hospital-based team will refer all young people between 18 and 24 to our community based services.
BT will promote positive alternatives to violence and support positive socioeconomic changes that prevent reinjury and foster hospital, criminal justice system, and community collaboration to advance equitable, antiracist, trauma-informed care to patients. BT will support community-based engagement in violence reduction and improved relationships and communications between police and our targeted communities. Finally, BT will work to create systems change within our criminal justice partners, increasing their effectiveness in working with our highest-risk young people.
BH will employ a full-time coordinator to support this project and work with our community based and criminal justice partners to coordinate all of our violence prevention work utilizing a data-driven plan that will result in a reduction in gun violence in some of our most troubled communities. Data will be used to not only understand community-level impacts but also the behavior changes and changes in violence related health outcomes for all individuals served by BT. The BT partners will coordinate our work with the US Attorney’s Office and all other federally funded violence prevention projects.