Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $216,987)
The primary goals of the OJJDP youth violence portfolio are to promote the wellbeing of children, youth, and families; reduce violence; and improve community capacity to address all forms of violence. This program supports the enhancement of OJJDPs youth violence prevention initiatives by inviting OJJDP localities presently implementing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum), Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and/or the Defending Childhood initiatives to apply for funding to adopt practices and implement models from a different program to achieve their shared violence prevention objectives. This program serves to encourage current initiative sites to enhance, integrate, and align youth violence prevention strategies; coordinate existing resources; engage in community education and outreach; develop and maintain strong collaborations; increase the involvement of youth and families in decision making; and engage the faith community, media, law enforcement, advocates, victim services, business, and other key partners in collective action. These efforts are authorized under Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235).
The City and County of Denver proposes to use these funds to integrate current gang reduction efforts and mental health services into a comprehensive system to expand existing efforts and partnerships and build new capacities. The Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver (GRID) will partner with various outside entities to build a critical incident mobilization protocol for providing trauma services to children and families affected by acts of community violence. GRID will hire a Critical Incident Coordinator, recruit trauma mental health volunteers, set up agreements with churches to serve as Safe Havens after a critical incident, assess clients for trauma and refer for long term care, and work with the established network of outreach workers to canvas neighborhoods and let residents know there is a safe place to go for resources and support. Additionally, GRID will support education and outreach efforts by contracting with trauma mental health specialists to provide trainings in high-risk neighborhoods for residents to increase resident awareness of the characteristics of violence and the availability of resources and safe havens.