ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Mayor Lyda Krewson today announced that two local non-profits have been selected to operate additional Cure Violence locations in the City of St. Louis.
A professional service agreement (PSA) committee for the Department of Health (DOH) chose to contract with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. to operate the site within the Walnut Park neighborhood. The PSA committee also chose to contract with Employment Connection to operate the site within the Dutchtown neighborhood. Both Cure Violence locations are scheduled to come online by August 1.
“I am glad to have Cure Violence launched in three high violence areas of our City. Preventing violence by intervening in disputes before violent crime occurs is key to the Cure Violence model,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “It’s equally beneficial to see that we are including more than one provider so we can expand our capacity and cover more ground.”
The amounts of each contract are not to exceed $750,000 and will both be in effect through July 31, 2021. The contracts are also subject to approval by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which will consider the matter on Wednesday, July 15.
“The vote today brings us one step closer to establishing Cure Violence in the Walnut Park and Dutchtown neighborhoods,” said Dr. Fredrick L. Echols, Acting Director of Health for the City of St. Louis. “The Department of Health is looking forward to working with the Urban League, Employment Connection, and Cure Violence Global to ensure the programs maintain the fidelity of the Cure Violence model and reduce gun violence in these neighborhoods.”
Under the leadership of Mayor Krewson and Dr. Echols, and with the support of the Board of Aldermen, the City previously allocated $7 million to implement the Cure Violence model in three different sites over three years.
“The Urban league is truly grateful to the City of St. Louis for having the faith in our agency to implement the Cure Violence model. Our Public Safety Department, under the leadership of James Clark, is ready to get started immediately to work to combat the crime and violence in our City. We will also bring a concentrated focus of resources from all the 50 programs that we conduct in these areas,” said Michael McMillan, President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.
The DOH previously contracted with Employment Connection to implement a Cure Violence site in the Wells-Goodfellow and Hamilton Heights neighborhoods. That site has been operational since June 1 and is already having a positive impact, according to Sal F. Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Employment Connection.
“We have recruited and engaged a talented team of individuals who have been working diligently to build relationships with high-risk individuals and stakeholders in these communities, and they have been warmly received. Our team has already responded to multiple crime scenes where gun violence has occurred and have also been providing conflict mediation and de-escalation services to individuals who were planning to use firearms to settle disputes. We also look forward to connecting these clients to our other comprehensive services, including job training and placement, behavioral health counseling, and housing/utility assistance, as we support them on their pathway to self-sufficiency and personal success,” Martinez said.
Guided by the mission to reduce violence globally using disease control and behavior change methods, Cure Violence Global is guided by clear understandings that violence is a health issue, that individuals and communities can change for the better, that community partners and strategic partnerships are keys to success, and that rigorous, scientific, professional ways of working are essential for effectiveness.
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