(WASHINGTON, DC) –Mayor Muriel Bowser today announced that three community-based providers will partner with the Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) to act as violence interrupters, engaging directly with the most at-risk residents to foster healthy relationships and create opportunities for individuals and families to succeed.
“We know that policing alone will not end violence in our communities,” said Mayor Bowser. “The organizations we selected have already done so much to strengthen our community, and these partnerships will serve as critical tools for engaging residents, preventing senseless violence, providing the supports and resources our most vulnerable neighbors need to succeed, and building a safer, stronger DC.”
The violence interruption program will cover all eight wards, with Training Grounds providing interruption services in Wards 6 and 7 and the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative providing services in Ward 8. Training Grounds is a District-based non-profit organization founded in 2005 with a mission to assist youth and adults with personal, career, and leadership development through neighborhood-based services. The Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, also District-based, is guided by its mission to act as a catalyst to develop, nurture, and sustain partnerships of residents, agencies, and institutions in the Southeast community and to create a healthy socioeconomic environment. The community partner serving Wards 1-5 will be announced tomorrow.
When choosing the providers, the Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement sought providers that would be able to:
- establish a strong presence in communities that have experienced high levels of violence;
- build partnerships with community members, local agencies, community-based organizations, and businesses to prevent violence and increase community efficacy;
- cultivate relationships with individuals and families most at-risk of participating or being victims of violence;
- connect high-risk individuals and families to resources needed to meet personal goals and objectives; and
- prevent retaliatory violence.
“Building trust and creating genuine relationships are keys to prevent violence in our neighborhoods, especially for residents who are affected the most and feel defeated by limited resources and lack of support,” said Del McFadden, Executive Director of the Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. “Our hands-on approach will streamline the help that our residents need to place them on the right pathway.”
Launched in October 2017, the Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement focuses on community-oriented, public health approaches to violence prevention, recognizing that reducing crime is not accomplished solely through law enforcement.