Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Cleveland is experiencing the highest violent crime rate in decades. Homicides increased by 38 percent, and shootings increased by 40 percent from 2019 (pre-COVID) to 2022 (post-COVID). To address this increase in violent crime, particularly gun violence, over the past several years, two nonprofit community-based, Black-led organizations, the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance (Peacemakers) and the Brenda Glass Multipurpose Trauma Center (Trauma Center), have collaboratively provided comprehensive hospital-linked community violence outreach and trauma recovery services to the high-risk victims of gun violence and their families—those hospitalized following a gunshot and their families. Current services target Black youth aged 15–24 residing in highly racially segregated, high-risk neighborhoods. Services are trauma informed, are equity focused, and incorporate the perspective of victims of gun violence and their families—without mandated contact with police or hospital systems.
In response to long-standing challenges in our community intensified by COVID, Peacemakers and Trauma Center have been unable to keep up with the demand for services. Moreover, the city’s great need for direct services has made it challenging to fund large-scale, multiyear research and evaluation activities to evaluate the intervention.
Peacemakers and the Trauma Center, and in collaboration with the Criminology Research Center at Cleveland State University, seek funding to enhance, document, and asses this hospital-linked community violence intervention. More specifically, we are requesting funding to: (a) enhance and expand capacity in CVI service delivery efforts to meet increasing needs in our community due to rising gun violence; (b) develop and implement a need assessment, a process evaluation, and an impact evaluation of the Greater Cleveland’s only hospital-linked community violence interruption and prevention effort (Category 1, community-based/tribal organizations); and (c) enhance Peacemaker’s and Trauma Center’s capacity to collect performance metrics and outcome data and conduct ongoing program monitoring and evaluation. This would be the first federal award from BJA to directly fund services provided by two culturally specific community-based organizations in Cleveland.