County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has announced the county will commit $50 million over the next five years to a comprehensive and well-coordinated public health approach to community violence reduction.
“We are extremely fortunate in this region to have so many different organizations and entities engaged and active when there is a need, and addressing violence in our community is certainly no exception,” said Mr. Fitzgerald. “With this financial commitment, we are approaching this issue broadly while also coordinating efforts to ensure that our approach is comprehensive. Just as importantly, this effort is intended to be coordinated at the county level but implemented locally. The organizations receiving funding, and the people who do the work, are best suited to determine how to make an impact in their community.”
The funding will be used for contracts resulting from two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) issued last year by the Department of Human Services, with input from the Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention, that sought evidence-based approaches to be implemented in highly-impacted communities in Allegheny County.
The first RFP, for Countywide Support for Violence Prevention, sought partners to assist our broader strategy, including identifying a countywide convener to bring together and coordinate efforts among all relevant stakeholders. It also funds county-wide prevention efforts that can be centrally, rather than locally, operated. Contracts awarded for this RFP include:
- Neighborhood Resilience Project for countywide coordination.
- Social Contract for operation of shooting review boards.
- Reimagine Reentry for hospital-based intervention.
- Center for Victims, Community Empowerment Association for coordination of victim and family supports.
- Capacity building and implementation of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
The second RFP, for Community Violence Reduction Plans from High-Priority Areas, sought strategies aimed at reducing community violence in highly impacted municipalities outside the City of Pittsburgh. The RFP asked stakeholders to create a community violence reduction plan and select an agency to carry it out. Contracts were awarded to:
- Focus on Renewal (Stowe, McKees Rocks)
- Penn Hills School District
- South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace (South Hilltop, Mount Oliver)
- Greater Valley Community Services (Woodland Hills School District)
- Steel Rivers Council of Governments (Mon Valley)
- Community Forge (Greater Wilkinsburg Area)
The county will fund existing projects in these communities as well as the implementation of initiatives like Cure Violence, Becoming A Man (BAM), and the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI).
Given the need that exists within the City of Pittsburgh, the city is directly funding its own set of community violence prevention efforts under the Plan for Peace. The county stands ready to assist the city with its efforts.