The Community Violence Interruption Program will incorporate the most effective strategies from community-based violence prevention programs across the country. Outreach Specialists (Credible Messengers) are essential to the success of the model. As the pilot program is in the early stages, these individuals are critical to program and community development as they often have similar lived experiences to program participants and have strong reputations in the community. The program has four primary components.
1. Credible Messengers identify individuals & locations that are highest impacted by violence.
2. Community-based Outreach: Credible messengers are trained in conflict resolution and mediation to intervene in situations prior to escalation or a loss of life. Outreach workers are in the pilot communities, communicating with the most-at-risk. Many members of the team reside in the very neighborhoods where they work; they share similar backgrounds with the men they seek to support. To be successful, they must understand the area and the impact violence has on the community. Outreach workers build a rapport with at-risk individuals, learning their stories to establish trust necessary for dialogue. Outreach Specialists are on call 24/7 to reduce tensions in real time, prevent violent incidences, and prevent retaliations.
3. Hospital-based Intervention: As the most common destination for victims of serious violent injuries, emergency rooms and trauma centers serve as key resources in efforts to break cycles of violence. Credible messengers meet victims, their families, and close social networks at bedside to assess and intervene in the event of retaliatory activity. Messengers understand the underlying needs of survivors and their families and connect them to coordinated care teams to aid in their recovery beyond discharge.
4. Ongoing Community Engagement: CVIP staff are present in the pilot communities to engage residents, distribute public education materials, and host community-building activities to promote neighborhood cohesion. CVIP staff aims to communicate clear messages around alternatives to violence.