Ohio City of Columbus will commit up to $2 million in CARES Act funding to partner with social service agencies and trusted community partners embedded in neighborhoods to reach out to youth directly — leveraging existing relationships and position of trust to provide intervention services and help at-risk youth.
Columbus City Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced the commitment at a joint conference with other city, county and community leaders to address the increase in violence in Columbus, while laying out collaborative initiatives to reach at-risk youth.
“The victims of shootings are not just numbers. They are our brothers and sisters, moms and dads, cousins, nieces and nephews,” said Mayor Ginther.
“We cannot police our way out of the spike of violence we are seeing today. Instead we are implementing a collaborative plan that addresses violence on all fronts.”
Mayor Ginther announced the following:
- Micro-intervention teams of police officers, social workers and juvenile court prosecutors reaching out to at-risk youth with the offer of wrap-around services from Franklin County Jobs and Family Services from the Family Stabilization Unit versus potential prosecution.
- Expanding ShotSpotter, a gun fire detection system that has proven successful at getting police to crime scenes more quickly, to the Near East neighborhood in addition to Hilltop, Linden and South Side.
- Partnership between Grant Hospital, Columbus Public Health and Recreation and Parks called VOICE (Violence Outreach, Intervention, Community Engagement) to providing bedside intervention to victims of assault and gunshot wounds to help them create opportunities for change.
- Up to $2 million in CARES Act funding to partner with social service agencies and trusted community partners embedded in neighborhoods to reach out to youth directly — leveraging existing relationships and position of trust to provide intervention services and help at-risk youth.
“The Family Stabilization Unit is designed to support families who enter the system and to help them in every way possible,” said Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce.
“The idea is to connect with them earlier and help mitigate any barriers or challenges they may be facing. Board of Commissioner agencies will be working together to provide comprehensive wrap around services to truly make an impact on the families in our community and I believe that will be the difference.”
Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan announced CPD was developing hot-spot mapping for gun violence to help reduce violence and starting a gun safety campaign to encourage residents to report stolen guns and keep guns safely secured at home.
“We must identify methods of reducing the consequences of firearms in our community by focusing on those who are using guns in a criminal manner,” said Chief Quinlan.
“This is a partnership. The police are committed to serving our neighborhoods. We ask criminal justice system to help keep our community safe.”
Nana Watson, President of the Columbus chapter of the NAACP, is working on a social media campaign with city and community partners focused on getting a message out to youth Black children about gun Violence.
“We are fighting to win this battle against guns and gun violence in our community,” said Watson. “And we are depending on all of you to help.”
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