Philadelphia CeaseFire: Transforming Lives on the Streets of Philly
Cure Violence stops the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms.
Philadelphia CeaseFire (a Cure Violence partner) employs health workers like Shakia Fudge, a violence interrupter, to reach out to high risk individuals to mediate conflicts and change individual behavior. This new video focuses on Elvin Ortiz, who was in prison for 12 years for possession of weapons, drugs and a stolen vehicle. Upon his release from prison, feeling helpless and lost, Shakia started working with him and never gave up. Elvin shares that his own mother told him she wished he would have died in prison.
Unfortunately, Elvin only knew a life of violence and lawbreaking. After release from prison, he readily admits he intended to return to all of the high risk and violent behavior he had participated in that led to his stay in prison. He had no idea Shakia Fudge had changed her life while he sat in prison, waiting for release. After looking up Shakia when he was out, she worked with Elvin daily, finding a place for him to live and eventually a job. She served as a role model for Elvin and others who want to make a transformational change in their lives. Shakia never gave up on Elvin.
Violence interrupters are viewed as credible messengers to high risk individuals because they once walked in the same shoes. The Cure Violence team and its partners, not just in Philadelphia, but all over the nation and globe are transforming lives and communities, reducing violence in communities by as much as between 40-70%.