Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $997,351)
Unity House of Troy, Inc. (Unity House) proposes to develop and implement the Prevention, Education, Awareness, Community and Empowerment (PEACE) program with the goal of preventing and reducing youth violence, including youth gang and gun violence in Albany and Rensselaer Counties of New York State, both high-poverty, high-crime locales with high black and Hispanic populations. Unity House will serve as PEACE’s lead organization, in full partnership with Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region’s Should Never Use Guns (SNUG) Anti-Violence Initiative. Unity House proposes to scale-up its successful violence-reduction youth programming and domestic violence services; and will target “at-risk” youth ages 12 to 17. Funding for this program will enable Unity House and Trinity Alliance SNUG to strengthen its collaboration among community-based organizations, service providers, and law enforcement; and will provide alternatives to gangs and violence for at-risk youth, including youth-driven treatment planning and supports, evidence-based treatment modalities (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) and assessments (Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths), safety planning and implementation of the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model. PEACE will approach interventions in stages, as each young person has unique needs and varying progress from engagement to treatment to stabilization and empowerment. Community awareness of youth violence, gangs and gun violence will be achieved through sharing of local data, street outreach and storytelling. Lastly, the SNUG collaboration will be assessed for milestones and will be augmented as needed to grow, succeed and thrive.