Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $997,351)
The South Bronx Youth Opportunity Initiative (SBYOI) will create safer communities and increase youth opportunity in Bronx Community District 3 by reducing youth gun and gang violence. SBYOI will: 1) create a cross-sector collaborative of community organizations, community stakeholders, and law enforcement to identify gaps in youth and community services and develop strategies to reduce youth violence and disrupt gang activity; 2) implement street outreach and violence intervention initiatives using CVI strategies; and 3) provide direct services to youth at risk of involvement with gun violence or gang activity.
The program model will be informed by the core strategies of OJJDP’s Comprehensive Gang Model, an evidence-based approach focused on community mobilization, opportunities provision, social intervention, suppression, and organizational change and development. Community mobilization activities will include the creation of the collaborative working group and the development of the youth advisory board. Opportunities provision will include interest-based programming, therapeutic services, and group programming. Social intervention activities will include mentorship and street outreach. Suppression activities will include coordination with law enforcement partners through the collaborative working group to monitor and develop respond to violence. Finally, organizational change and development will include the creation of a collective impact strategy with the collaborative working group.
Deliverables: Deliverables will include the creation of a cross-sector collaborative working group, the implementation of outreach and violence intervention activities leading to reduced incidents of violence, and the provision of a comprehensive spectrum of youth services including mentorship, therapeutic supports, and interest-based youth programs to prevent and reduce gang influence and gang-related youth violence.
Service Area: SBYOI will serve Bronx Community District 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Morrisania, Claremont, Crotona, and Melrose. Before the pandemic, this area was one of the few in the city that was experiencing a rise in violent crime while most of the city was seeing a decrease. Over the past two years, this trend has continued with the area experiencing a tremendous increase in gun violence.
Population Served: The target population for the proposed South Bronx Youth Opportunity Initiative are youth ages 12-18 residing in, or highly connected to, Bronx Community District 3 who are at high risk of perpetrating or being victimized by gun violence or are gang-involved or at risk of gang involvement. Additionally, the project will benefit the whole community by reducing community violence and the negative impacts of youth gang activities creating a safer and healthier community.