City of Sacramento to fund six community organizations to help prevent gang violence

UPDATE: The Sacramento City Council on May 25 voted to hold a workshop to discuss the City’s ongoing response to gang-violence intervention, prevention and suppression. The City’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Taskforce (GPIT) grant program will be part of that discussion.

Six community-based organizations that work with individuals out in Sacramento neighborhoods to prevent them from becoming involved with gang violence are set to receive a total of $1 million in grant funding through the City’s Office of Violence Prevention.

The awards, scheduled to go to City Council for approval Tuesday, will strengthen the City’s relationship with community-based organizations whose employees work directly to mentor teens and young adults. Funding comes from the office’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Taskforce (GPIT) grant program.

“This funding really represents the next phase of our work in youth-violence prevention,” said Dr. Nicole Clavo, who was hired in July 2020 to lead the office. “The pandemic has exacerbated what already was a difficult and complex issue. In response, we are formalizing close partnerships with these organizations to deliver services proven to curb youth gang violence.”

Shooting deaths in Sacramento and cities nationwide have surged during the pandemic, lending urgency to the City’s effort. Clavo said she would meet with representatives of the community organizations frequently and hold them accountable for producing results through their programs.

“The expectation is that these organizations will help the City reduce gang-involved crime as well as improve academic achievement and opportunity for people involved in or likely to be involved in gangs,” Clavo said.

Following a competitive solicitation process, the six community-based organizations/programs selected to receive funding are: Academics 4 Athletics; Brother 2 Brother Mentoring: U-Turn Mentoring Program; Helping our People to Eat: Project Turnaround; Impact Sac; Neighborhood Wellness Foundation: Living Informed Free of Trauma (LIFT)ing Generations; and the Rose Family Creative Empowerment Center: South Sacramento Academic Success Program.

Communities served by these organizations include those in Del Paso Heights, Valley Hi, Oak Park, Strawberry Manor, Old North Sacramento and Meadowview, Clavo said. Cognitive development, workforce readiness and life skills will be part of the programming, in addition to gang prevention, intervention and suppression services.

“Increased funding would allow us to provide different experiences to our youth, which is key to changing their way of thinking,” said Mervin Brookins, CEO of Brother 2 Brother.

The City also continues to work with Advance Peace via the Adult Peacemaker Fellowship Program, which is funded through December 2021. As part of its two-year contract extension with the City in 2019, Advance Peace agreed to transition to a community-based organization working to reduce cyclical and retaliatory gun violence in Sacramento. The City also partners with Advance Peace via the Youth Peacemaker Fellowship Program, which is funded through December 2023 with a $1.5 million state grant.

Here is a breakdown of the six selected community-based organizations, their proposed funding and they services they plan to provide:

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