Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,999,715)
The purpose of this project is to expand the services being provided by the Harris County Public Health Department’s Community Health and Violence Prevention Services (CHVPS) and ACCESS Harris initiative. The goal of the initiatives is to identify and provide wraparound services to at-risk communities in Harris County. The expansion of the project would allow for dedicated resources and strategic personalized interventions designed to address the root causes of pressing public safety challenges through a public health approach.
The expansion of services would allow for additional community and hospital program staff to be hired; and for more targeted risk assessment based, coordinated care plans through ACCESS Harris. CHVPS Outreach Specialists, also known as Credible Messengers, are trained to detect and interrupt violent conflicts; intervene to stop cycles of violence by working with individuals at the highest risk of becoming victimized or perpetrating community violence. These interventions will meet people where they are and intervene either in areas most heavily impacted by violence before situations escalate, or in the hospital following a violent injury due to community violence.
The “public health approach” to addressing violence focuses on prevention by addressing the known factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of violence. These approaches will complement existing strategies, including the efforts of our law enforcement partners, to improve the health and safety of all communities in Harris County.
The service area includes the following zip codes: 77021, 77051, 77033, and 77090. The selected service areas are those with residents that have been identified by CHVPS as residents with compound needs requiring intensive intervention. The program strengthens the community by connecting residents to medical, basic needs, and mental health resources to achieve long-term wellness and self-sufficiency.