Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $200,000)
The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) outreach program directly addresses the increase of violent crime and gun violence through a harm reduction approach that uses national models proven to reduce community and gun violence. Through the City of Portland Violence Prevention Outreach Program, OVP will continue to implement strategies and initiatives to prevent, reduce, and end violence in Portland by using data and research to inform investments in violence prevention.
In order to achieve this goal, will OVP implement a violence interrupter/street level outreach pilot program that employs outreach workers who engage with youth and young adults between the ages of 8 and 18 who are at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. The goal is to reduce their risks and limit their future involvement with the criminal justice system. Outreach workers engage with individuals and families to build relationships and address risk and protective factors. They also provide support services to those families in need. Violence Interrupters are present in potential high-risk areas to interrupt, mediate and redirect potential conflicts and violence. They provided support for families during times of trauma and grief. Additionally, Violence interrupters and outreach workers will provide and attend prosocial activities and community events to engage with individuals, developing real trust. Furthermore, Violence interrupters will monitor designated hot spots around the city, which help reduce potentially violent interactions.
As gun violence continues to increase, utilizing the Byrne Discretionary Community Project Funding/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program, OVP intends to expand its outreach program capacity, which will help to prevent violence before it occurs, focusing on upstream efforts that address root causes that contribute to long-term gun violence reductions. OVP’s outreach program will focus primarily on the City of Portland’s neighborhoods experiencing the most significant numbers of shootings, injuries, and homicides located within North and Northeast Portland.