Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $500,000)
Lansing/Ingham County has typically had a high rate of violent crime as well as a high concentration of poverty compared to neighboring counties and the state of Michigan. In the past three years, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) has seen a dramatic increase in homicides and other gun-related crimes.
A large-scale community-based violence prevention and interruption effort is underway with support from the community and numerous agency partners including public health, law enforcement, prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the city and county governments of Lansing and Ingham County.
Service area: City of Lansing, Michigan. Primarily Ingham County. There is also a portion of the city in Eaton County and its 7th congressional district that has approximately 4,000 residents and also has high concentrations of poverty and homicides.
Lansing is a high-poverty area with 25% poverty. ICHD attributes socioeconomic inequalities and stressors – exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic – as contributors to this alarming increase in homicide deaths.
Ingham County and partners have selected the violence interruption model Advance Peace, an evidence-informed violence prevention and interruption program, to replicate in this community.
Their approach utilizes street outreach, mentoring, intensive case management, life skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy and subsidized employment to engage those at the center of gun violence. The centerpiece of Advance Peace is a high-touch and personalized 18-month Peacemaker Fellowship®. The Peacemaker Fellowship® is grounded in evidence-based practice and includes seven intensive daily touch-points between program staff, volunteers and Participating Fellows. This project involves hiring formerly justice-involved persons as Neighborhood Change Agents (NCAs) to engage offenders at the center of gun violence, particularly in communities of color that may be distrustful of police.
Funding for Advance Peace has been approved by the mayor’s office in Lansing and prioritized in the county’s budget planning. It has been approved for approximately $21,000 in startup funding by the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods.
ICHD proposes to supplement this project with $358,061 for project coordination and strategy management, performed by the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI), and $141,939 to hire a Community Health Worker (CHW) to support and work in tandem with NCAs and assist in the expansion of Advance Peace efforts. MPHI has a strong track record of public policy and practice development and analysis, with a strong emphasis on racial equity, youth violence prevention, and culturally responsive and equitable engagement.