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Safer Together: A Regional Collective Impact Initiative by Hospitals and CBOs to Reduce Community Violence in Southeastern Virginia

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)

In collaboration with two other CBOs active in group violence intervention (GVI), three hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs), and a research institution, Community of Change Inc. (COC) will lead a regional GVI program with these subrecipients across five neighboring localities that rank among some of the highest firearm-related mortality cities in the state (Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, and Chesapeake). The program will hire staff with prior GVI experience, formal Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) training, community knowledge/credibility, clinical expertise, and evidence-based research methodology to include credible messengers and community ambassadors. The lead applicant has identified each partner’s geographic and service delivery strengths to reduce duplication and maximize overall programmatic effectiveness. This application includes a companion application by the research partner, Norfolk State University (NSU), under the NIJ solicitation. COC and two subrecipients are culturally specific organizations serving primarily African American neighborhoods.

Purpose: To foster cooperation and coordination among several key organizations already active in Southeastern Virginia’s GVI ecosystem by leveraging these partnerships to (a) identify high-risk individuals in three local Level I and Level II trauma centers; (b) share/refer consistent information regarding participants experiencing firearm-related injuries, trauma, or familial death resulting from a violent incident; (c) provide case management support services to better address social determinants of health in target neighborhoods; and (d) provide a replicable model of success for other regional GVI partnerships across the country.

Primary Activities: In addition to facilitating behavioral assessment training tools such as DCJS’s Behavioral Threat Assessment (BTA) and the National Association of School Psychologists’ Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM) framework to identify and preempt threats among target populations, COC will convene, coordinate, and support the activities of program staff across all partner agencies. Each subrecipient will provide services outlined in their respective MOU and scope of work to include street intervention, mentorship, and/or individual case management.

Expected Outcomes: (a) Reduction of recidivism, retaliation, and reported gun-related injuries/deaths in target populations (ages 10–39) by 10 percent over a 3-year period. (b) Annual enrollment of 200 individuals experiencing firearm-related injuries, trauma, or familial death resulting from a violent incident in five cities. (c) Improvement in mental health and wellbeing assessments following interventions for 75 percent of participants.

Service Area: Underserved neighborhoods with a high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) across the five cities mentioned, including (but not limited to) zip codes 23704, 23507, 23669, 23607, and 23320.

Date Created: September 28, 2023