Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $902,285)
This project aims to reduce youth violence/youth gang violence in Douglas County, Nebraska, by: (1) collaborating with YouTurn, a local community violence intervention (CVI) program, to lead efforts to prevent and/or reduce youth violence, youth gang violence, gun violence, and victimization; (2) providing a comprehensive system of care that focuses on equipping highest risk, at-risk, and system-involved youth with alternatives to gangs and/or gang affiliation; and (3) creating a collaborative working group to ensure work on this initiative is completed in a way that targets the specific needs of the community.
With the addition of four violence interrupter/outreach case managers, YouTurn will reach an additional 102 to 140 youth and provide educational interventions to an additional 300 to 350 youth (8 years of age and younger), annually. YouTurn’s activities align with the five OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model core strategies (community mobilization, opportunities provision, social intervention, suppression, and organizational change and development). Community mobilization will be achieved by adding an additional team to expand weekly targeted outreach and canvassing in neighborhoods experiencing disproportionately high incidents of gun/gang violence. An increase in staff will also enable social intervention to occur through the expansion of YouTurn’s presence in the target area by staggering the work hours of team members in peak months (June to October) when violent incidents increase to cover two 8-hour shifts (11am to 7pm, and 1pm to 9pm). Finally, additional staff will aid suppression efforts by expanding YouTurn’s capacity to respond to incidents of violence and implement strategies of interruption, suppression, intervention, and mediation; and by creating an opportunity to assign teams to respond to Trauma Center calls after work hours and on weekends.