Today, President Joe Biden’s administration announced the convening of a Community Violence Intervention Collaborative of officials from 15 jurisdictions across the country, including St. Louis, which have allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) or other public funding to community violence intervention programs. The President is calling on jurisdictions across the country to follow the lead of elected officials like Mayor Tishaura O. Jones in allocating funds from ARPA to strengthen community violence intervention initiatives and improve public safety. Mayor Jones has named Public Safety Director Dan Isom to represent St. Louis at the Collaborative.
“The American Rescue Plan is an opportunity to address the root causes of crime by investing directly in underserved neighborhoods and preventing violence before it occurs. This Community Violence Intervention Collaborative will help bring knowledge and more resources to St. Louis.” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I’m proud our city is being recognized by the Biden Administration for our efforts to reimagine public safety, and I urge the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to approve my $80 million relief proposal that devotes significant resources towards making our communities safer across our entire city.”
Community violence intervention (CVI) programs have been shown to reduce violence by as much as 60%. These programs are effective because they leverage trusted messengers who work directly with individuals most likely to commit gun violence, intervene in conflicts, and connect people to social, health and wellness, and economic services to reduce the likelihood of violence as an answer to conflict. Officials jurisdictions joining the Collaborative include: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; King County, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN; Newark, NJ; Rapid City, SD; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC.
The Biden Administration will convene meetings with officials from the above jurisdictions, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and provide technical assistance. This effort will support both proven and new strategies that reduce gun violence and strengthen community-based infrastructure to enhance public safety for children, families, and communities and to advance equity. A group of philanthropies that have been leaders on this issue will support this collaborative by deploying CVI experts to provide training and technical assistance, identify best practices, integrate proven and innovative public-health approaches, and help local community-based organizations scale CVI efforts this summer and beyond.
$11.5 million of Mayor Jones’ $80 million direct relief proposal goes to address the root causes of crime and improve public safety through increased funding for violence intervention programs and youth programming and jobs. The plan also builds critical public health infrastructure to boost vaccination rates and provides direct economic relief to struggling families. This initial infusion of funds - the critical first step towards an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis - will deliver urgent, direct relief to help stabilize neighborhoods across our city, laying the foundation for long-term growth and investment.