Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $997,351)
CHRIS 180, a nonprofit organization in Atlanta working to heal children, strengthen families, and build community, proposes to expand its Cure Violence (CV) program to include youth ages 12-17 in Atlanta Police Department (APD) Zones 1 and 3. These two zones have the highest rates of gun violence in the city and associated high rates of youth violence: youth commit up to 42% of reported crimes. The majority of youth crimes are robberies, car jackings, auto thefts, and aggravated assaults.
Zones 1 and 3 comprise the Neighborhood Planning Units (NPU) L and V as designated by city government. Between NPU-L and V, eight gangs are active. While exact gang membership numbers among youth are not known for NPU-L and V, the CV program serves youth/young adults who are in gangs or at risk for joining gangs and designs interventions to deter them from joining gangs. Current CV program staff have observed that youth in NPUs L and V are overwhelmed by violence and that trauma has become normalized in their lives. According to intake assessments, 69% of the youth ages 17-24 attending the APC in Zone 1 had an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) score of 4 or more.
CHRIS 180 will use its experience with the CV program in Zone 3 and existing relationships with APD and community youth centers to form the Cure Violence Youth (CVY) program. The primary program goal is a 30% reduction in violent crime among youth ages 12-17 in NPUs L and V by the end of the 3-year grant period. The CV model is evidence-based and interrupts gun violence using a multisystemic approach and community violence intervention strategies, including “credible messengers.” CVY program staff will work with the existing CV task force to develop youth violence prevention task forces in NPUs L and V to guide the CVY program and identify the youth most at-risk in these neighborhoods. The youth will be trained to serve on the task forces on non-violence and how to respond to trauma through a Trauma Response Network and Healing Circles. The program will hire four staff, to include a program manager, outreach worker, and two violence interrupters. Remaining grant funds will cover stipends for youth facilitators, task force meetings and program events, and required grantee training.