Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,000)
Purpose of the project: The City of Flint "CoF" (Michigan) Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) aims to implement evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent violent crime in the "CoF". Violent crime, specifically gun violence, continues to be a major issue affecting the entire community thus eroding public health, causing economic disruption, and contributing to lasting individual and community traumas. On July 23, 2021, the “CoF” Mayor declared a state of emergency due to the rising gun violence in the City.
Primary activities: The Flint (CVIPI) project will be led by the “CoF”. A multidisciplinary team (MDT) of stakeholders will be involved in the forming, planning and implementation of the CVIPI, this will include, mental health service providers, community based organizations, faith based organizations, law enforcement, victim advocates, service providers, hospital and other healthcare providers, researchers and community residents and other relevant stakeholders.
While working collaboratively, the MDT will ensure that the key principles of this solicitation are at the forefront of all planning and implementation.Expected outcomes: As a result of activities, it is expected there will be a reduction in violence as reported via individual surveys and police incident data. It is expected that during the first 6 - 9 months of this award, the needs assessment and subsequent strategic plan will shape any expected outcomes, however, the aim is to see an overall reduction of violence in the "CoF" by 15% - 20% with a reduction of gun related homicides by 10% - 15%. Service area: Flint has experienced significant economic and traumatic hardships over the past two decades including the Flint lead water emergency (aka the ‘Flint Water Crisis’) economic recession , and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows that a manifest effect of hardships such as these is an increase in crime. For instance, consistent exposure to lead–particularly during vulnerable periods such as before age two–is correlated with increased likelihood of negative outcomes including violent crime. Social justice researchers argue this as being an issue of environmental racism due to certain populations, in particular, Black or African Americans in urban areas, being disproportionately exposed to higher lead levels. According to the latest census, black or African American community makes up the majority of the population of the "CoF", at 54%.