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​Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. Selected for Cure Violence Implementation

4/7/2021

City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Select Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. for
Cure Violence Implementation

The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County on Tuesday announced that Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) has been selected as the vendor for Cure Violence implementation.

Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. was one of four organizations to submit proposals to the city's Request for Proposals. The organization has a track record of success in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and this partnership will allow YAP to continue its good work here in the community.

"YAP has been working with the County's Department of Criminal Justice Services' Youth Recovery Court and Youth and Family Services since 2019 and has been an invaluable partner to us and the families that they have served," said Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Deputy Health Director. "We are excited to utilize their experience in violence interruption and existing knowledge of our community to better address our residents' needs."

Founded in 1975, YAP is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is a nationally recognized nonprofit that has 45 years of agency-wide experience engaging the highest-risk individuals in neighborhoods deeply affected by violence, poverty and incarceration. In cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington DC, YAP has successfully implemented programs that target specific individuals, neighborhoods and broader violence and crime reduction strategies. Their methods include a combination of proactive and reactive strategies that are designed to interrupt imminent violence while promoting individual and community transformation over the longer term.

Cure Violence is an evidence-based violence interruption strategy that uses data and evaluated methodology (developed over time and that provides consistent results) to interrupt violence on the ground.

Several priority areas have been identified as durable hotspots of violent incidents in Charlotte. By using a tried and tested evidence-based model, which focuses on the individuals in the geographies with the highest risk of being involved in violent crime, Charlotte has the highest likelihood of stopping violence before it occurs and preventing future violent incidents.

"Our City has recently experienced a significant increase in incidents of violent crime," said Federico Rios, Assistant Director, Office of Equity, Mobility and Immigrant Integration for the City of Charlotte. "By implementing the Cure Violence methodology through a trusted community-based organization that will hire residents from Charlotte, we are centering the expertise of the local community members that will be hired to serve as Violence Interrupters and outreach workers. In so doing, we recognize that those individuals, often most proximate to these experiences, have viable solutions to address them." 

The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have been exploring a partnership with Cure Violence Global for almost two years. Cure Violence worked with the city, county, and community over the summer to conduct an assessment and determined that a locally-implemented violence interrupter program could be viable along the Beatties Ford Road corridor. Cure Violence has a long history of work in cities across the globe. They also have had extensive evaluation from various academic institutions which have found that their methodology is effective when implemented with fidelity.

Cure Violence Global is a non-profit, public health organization that has developed a successful methodology that works to interrupt violence in the place and during the time it happens. Cure Violence's methodology includes resourcing community members to work with people who are at the most risk for perpetrating violence. The methodology is specific, based in public health principles, and uses data to target areas and individuals that are most likely affected by violence. Interrupters are community members and trusted messengers who use their credibility and relationships to mediate conflict and stop violence before it happens. Interrupters work in their neighborhoods, talking to people on the street, during the times that violence is known to happen. Outreach specialists maintain a caseload of persons they support in receiving services and resources to prevent future violence.

Cure Violence has helped set up evidence-based violence interruption programs in Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; New Orleans, Louisiana, Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; New York City, New York; Washington, District of Columbia; St. Louis, Missouri; and Camden, New Jersey. 

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