Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,051)
In response to the gun violence epidemic in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia, Temple University's Center for Urban Bioethics (CUB), housed in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, will partner with New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), a pillar of the Kensington community, who has decades of experience in combating socioeconomic inequities in Kensington, to implement Cure Violence. The Kensington section will be bound between Lehigh Avenue and Allegheny Avenue, and from Front Street to Aramingo Avenue.
Cure Violence is a community violence intervention (CVI) program, focusing on reducing homicides and shootings by establishing relationships with the people at the center of gun violence in our community by supporting those at the highest risk of being victims or perpetrators of gun violence. Following the Cure Violence Health Model, an evidence-based model, programming will treat gun violence as a disease and will interrupt the transmission of violence by targeting those high at risk and changing community norms that have supported gun violence. Violence Interrupters (VI) and Outreach Workers (OW) will detect potential violence and interrupt before they can become a shooting. This model has proven to be statistically successful in lowering gun violence occurrences, seeing reductions of 2.4 shootings per month per 10,000 residents, and when compared to two years pre-implementation to the two years post-implementation, a 30% reduction. The goal for the proposed iteration of Cure Violence in Kensington is to reduce instances of gun violence by 10%.
Kensington offers unique challenges in the fight against gun violence in Philadelphia, being home to a complex socioeconomic population. Over 25% of the community is unemployed, the neighborhood lacks sufficient housing to support its residents and is home to the largest open air drug markets on the eastern seaboard. Although these challenges certainly exist, CUB and NKCDC have been able to make incredible progress in improving the neighborhood by collaborating on various projects. Cure Violence implementation is a critical step in combating the inequities this community has experienced for the past several decades.