Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Grant funding will support place-based community violence intervention (CVI) programming to reduce impacts to public health, social well-being, and the local economy caused by gun violence. Evidence-based and community-driven, this program will utilize non-policing strategies to strengthen anti-violence social norms, invest in the physical environment, encourage pro-social activity, and mitigate economic drivers of violence. This approach catalyzes the power of community-local government partnerships to build trust, cohesiveness, order, and prosperity – interrupting systems that drive violence while advancing overall safety.
This program expands on a successful pilot project completed in 2022, by the Community Safety Division (CSD) which focused on a single city block known as a “hotspot” for shooting incidents. Working alongside local stakeholders, CSD initiated interventions including trash clean-up, lighting enhancement, traffic calming, code enforcement, and barrier installation. As a result, the area saw a reduction in calls for police service by 31% and a reduction in shooting incidents by one. 
With this grant, CSD intends to leverage its existing Safe Blocks Program (SBP) to oversee place-based CVI in other “hotspots” in Portland. The CSD identified three neighborhoods: Hazelwood, Eliot, and Powelhurst-Gilbert for intervention. Each suffer from historical disinvestment and disproportionate rates of violence. Following robust community engagement, the SBP team will plan and implement projects identified by stakeholders and informed by CSD expertise. While the residents living in these neighborhoods will benefit directly, all of Portland will feel the effects.
Expected outcomes are a reduction in shooting incidents, reduced calls for police service, and an increased feelings of safety among residents. As a result of increased trust and capacity, community members will remain engaged in their own safety through long-term support from the SBP. Project evaluation will be based on information collected in pre- and post-intervention surveys and interviews, engagement metrics, and statistical analysis of crime data.
Through direct investment and subaward grants, programming activities may include changes to the physical environment such as the installation of green spaces, vacant lot remediation, and/or improvements to traffic flow, pedestrian safety, lighting needs, and access control. Pro-social activities may include youth engagement, resource fairs, block parties, and street mural painting. Community engagement is a core-process of this program and will be facilitated and supported at every phase and will directly inform and impact programming activities.
 Eadens, Savannah, (2023) “A Perfect Storm of Violence Overwhelmed NE Portland Block: Then the City Tried Something New” The Oregonian, available at: https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2023/01/perfect-storm-of-violence-vice…