Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $563,000)
The City of New Bedford proposes to implement the Equitable Approaches to Public Safety program in the City of New Bedford. With the Equitable Approaches to Public Safety program, the city will be able to create opportunities to develop sustainable and equitable system-level changes in public safety, expand and enhance current public safety reform programs, as well as develop and launch innovative approaches to public safety. Furthermore, the city will work to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes by focusing on the root causes and determinants of poor health in the local communities, such as poverty, education, housing, access to healthcare and healthy foods, clean air and water, and structural racism. Partnerships with local organizations will create opportunities of engagement within the community to better understand the impact of existing programs and identify gaps that may inform program expansion, revision, and/or development. Through these partnerships, local organizations will enhance and expand upon work already underway to address public safety issues in a way that is as equitable and effective as possible. The expected long-term outcomes of this project are a demonstrated increase in equitable public safety and public health outcomes, and a demonstrated decrease in mental health, behavioral health, or other public health needs in the community. All residents will benefit from more equitable approaches to public safety, which will directly impact people’s experiences within the city, all while creating a broader culture of trust and community engagement.