July 2015 E-Newsletter: Baltimore Let’s Make the Cure Contagious
Image: Baltimore City Health Department
New Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen sees violence as a public health issue. In an Op-Ed column that ran in the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun, Commissioner Wen says “we can use public health strategies in an evidence-based approach to prevent and treat violence and reduce homicides and non-fatal shootings.” Wen has stated one of her primary goals includes increasing the number of Safe Street program sites in Baltimore’s highest-risk neighborhoods.
New Cure Violence Documentary Film
With thanks and gratitude to Participant Media, the film studio behind the box office success “A Most Violent Year,” Cure Violence has a new 22 minute ‘mini-documentary’ available on the Cure Violence YouTube Channel. It’s the first documentary film to thoroughly explain the contagious nature of violence within the US and globally, and tell a story behind each phase of the health approach. The documentary features examples of hospital responder intervention in trauma centers, Cure Violence partner organizations in Loiza, Puerto Rico; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Englewood in Chicago, and interviews with participants, staff, partners and violence interrupters.
Check out the two minute film trailer!
2014 Annual Report
The Cure Violence 2014 Annual Report is now available for download. It highlights new program sites and partners throughout the US, the progress towards our strategic goals, new donors, our global financial impact, 2014 media highlights and updates on our national and international sites. Download a PDF version of the report.
Marcus McAllister, Cure Violence National Trainer, Honored in New York City
Pictured Todd Feurtado (left), Marcus McAllister (center), Lance Feurtado (right)
On June 6th, Cure Violence National Trainer, Marcus McAllister, attended a Gala sponsored by King of Kings in Queens, New York, a Cure Violence program partner, and received the WARRIOR award from the King of Kings Foundation, as well as a New York State Assembly Proclamation. The award was given to Marcus as recognition of his dedication and commitment to stopping violence in New York City, across the US and globally.
“A special thanks to my brothers and Cure Violence colleagues, Cobe Williams and Tim White, also national trainers, with whom I’m privileged to be able to share these awards,” Marcus shared.
CeaseFire Illinois Saving Lives Despite State Funding Woes
Since CeaseFire’s state funding, along with dozens of social service programs, was suspended in March (Executive Order 15-08), shootings and homicides have been increasing significantly across communities throughout the City of Chicago. In the month of May, 309 people were shot, and 37 people killed; a 78% increase in shootings compared to May of 2014. The Governor’s initial FY2016 budget includes CeaseFire at $1.9 million; a 60% cut from FY2015 ($4.7 million). However, the most recent budget submitted by the Illinois General Assembly includes CeaseFire at $4.5 million. Unfortunately, the legislature and the Governor have yet to agree on an FY2016 state budget, so all state funds are “on hold” until a new budget is approved.
Despite the budgetary woes in in Springfield, CeaseFire Illinois continues to save lives in some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods. Results from the first quarter of 2015 are amazing:
- 56% of CeaseFire Chicago sites enjoyed 90 homicide-free days across 9 communities
- CeaseFire Chicago sites experienced a 100% reduction in homicides in 9 communities and a 28% Reduction in homicides across all 16 active CeaseFire Chicago communities
- 382 Interruptions (196 conflict mediations; 185 Hospital Responses); 243 Highest Risk Clients Served
- 9 communities – 90 days – $55 million saved
Unfortunately, since the program is currently operating in just two neighborhoods (South Shore and CeaseFire West), shootings and homicides in Chicago are escalating at dramatic rates. This is not a new phenomenon and has been seen several times over the 15 years CeaseFire has been operating in Chicago when funding issues have resulted in temporary suspensions of the program. The good news is that despite the closure of neighborhood program sites in high risk neighborhoods in the city, the level of violence in these neighborhoods where CeaseFire has been operating is still much lower than in the other 75% of the high-risk neighborhoods in the city where CeaseFire has not been funded in the past.