Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 2000
Charlotte, NC 28208
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Effective violence prevention efforts must be comprehensive and coordinated to positively impact individuals, families, and communities throughout Charlotte-Meckelenburg. Our local violence prevention efforts include a continuum of services from one-time presentations to school-based curricula to long-term community engagement. Staff work together across programs to enhance and sustain broad prevention initiatives. All programs strive to be responsive to the unique needs of community partners while incorporating the most current prevention science evidence.
Purpose: Our overall goal through the continuum of prevention programs listed below is to reduce community and interpersonal violence by raising awareness and changing community climate to encourage healthy relationships and community connectedness. These programs work in collaboration to address community gaps for youth and adults as well as work to reduce duplication of outreach and prevention.
The Do the Write Thing Essay Program gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives. Through classroom discussions and writings, students communicate what they think should be done to reduce youth violence in the community. The Do the Write Thing Essay Challenge is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, a non-profit organization made up of businesses, and community and government leaders. This group is committed to reducing youth violence, and improving the health of our families and communities. The Do the Write Thing Essay Challenge Program began in 1994 as a local program in Washington, D.C. and expanded in 1996 to other cities across the U.S. Today, the program includes eighteen cities and twenty National Guard sites. For more information visit CharMeck.org/DTWT.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationally funded program through the US Department of Justice that is working to keep our communities safe by eliminating gun violence. Managed by the US Attorney's office, Project Safe Neighborhoods is a collaborative effort among federal, state and local law enforcement and community partners to create strategies to address the unique gun crime problem in Western North Carolina. Criminals who use guns are prosecuted under federal, state or local laws, depending on which jurisdiction can provide the most appropriate punishment. Through effective marketing campaigns and community engagement activities, select neighborhoods in Mecklenburg County have seen a reduction in gun crime. The project continues to build momentum through its leadership and strengthen community efforts with the assistance of the PSN Community Partners. For more information visit Project Safe Neighborhoods Main Page.
The Seeking to Heal and Reclaim (SHARE) Program is funded by the Office on Violence against Women. It is an opportunity for Community Support Services to expand the direct services it offers to teens and children who have experienced teen dating violence and/or witnessed domestic violence. It is also an opportunity for Community Support Services to create a comprehensive prevention program, which will pilot a teen dating violence educational program designed for middle schools and high schools. This program is six sessions long and features interactive and discussion based activities that work with teens to gain skills and knowledge concerning healthy and respectful relationships. This program will also be creating a social norms campaign led by young people to reach the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community on a larger scale. In partnership with community organizations such as Time Out Youth, prevention efforts are also being designed specifically to reach LGBTQ identified youth while ensuring that all efforts both prevention and intervention are LGBTQ inclusive. To request your school or program be able to participate in the curriculum pilot or to get more information about any of the parts of this program, please contact Melissa Siegel Barrios.