WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced grant awards to four community-based organizations that will run new Cure the Streets violence reduction program sites in Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8.
Father Factor Inc. (Father Factor), Global Transcendence, The InnerCity Collaborative Community Development Corp. (InnerCity Collaborative CDC), and Women in Healing, Elevation, Employment, Love, and Support (Women in H.E.E.L.S.), were selected to run the four new program sites through a competitive grant-making process.
“Community-led violence reduction programs are a critical compliment to a comprehensive approach to combatting gun violence in the District and keeping residents safe. We’re proud to partner with these community organizations to expand Cure the Streets in four new neighborhoods,” said AG Racine. “All District residents should feel safe in their communities, but for too many, gun violence has become normalized. Today’s announcement is a part of our office’s long-standing efforts to change the culture of violence. Programs like Cure the Streets make real and lasting change. We know change doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re already seeing promising results and we’re committed to continuing our investments in this critical work.”
Cure the Streets is a community-driven public safety pilot program working to reduce gun violence in targeted neighborhoods across the District that have historically experienced some of the highest rates of gun violence. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) originally launched Cure the Streets in 2018 with two sites in neighborhoods that have experienced high rates of gun violence. By January 2020, the program was operating in six sites in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
Reflecting AG Racine’s belief that continued investment in community-based violence reduction is a critical piece of a much larger effort to reduce crime and violence, OAG requested and received funding from the Council to expand the program in Fiscal Year 2022. Cure the Streets selected four additional areas that continue to experience high levels of gun violence for expansion: Congress Heights, Brightwood Park/Petworth, Sursum Corda/Ivy City, and Historic Anacostia/Fairlawn. OAG awards grants to nonprofit community-based organizations to implement a violence interruption program based on the international CURE Violence model. The organizations are selected through a competitive application process that evaluates their relationships and credibility with high-risk individuals in the target neighborhoods and their ability to successfully run the program. OAG selected the following District-based CBOs to operate the four new Cure the Streets sites that will be launched in FY22:
- Father Factor: Father Factor is a non-profit focused on fatherhood, parental training, substance abuse, and violence prevention efforts providing counseling, education, referral, and training services to empower families and strengthen communities. Father Factor was selected to run the new Historic Anacostia/Fairlawn program site in Ward 8. The organization already operates two Cure the Streets sites in Marshall Heights (Ward 7) and Bellevue (Ward 8).
- Global Transcendence: Global Transcendence is a nonprofit serving children, parents and families in Washington, DC and Maryland. Its mission is to break the cycle of homicides; transcend root causes such as poverty, learned helplessness, mental health issues; interrupt acts of retaliation; support healing for co-victims; and increase resilience. It will operate the new Sursum Corda/Ivy City program site (Wards 5 and 6).
- InnerCity Collaborative CDC: InnerCity Collaborative CDC is a nonprofit that operates as a community development program that focuses on assisting disadvantaged youth and families through mentoring, high risk strategic interventions, housing assistance, counseling, and other social service referrals. It will run the new program site in Brightwood Park/Petworth, and part of Columbia Heights (Wards 1 and 4).
- Women in H.E.E.L.S.: Women in H.E.E.L.S. is a recently established organization seeking to reduce violence and other issues specific to the Ward 8 and Congress Heights community. Its methodology and self-improvement programming includes life skills building, financial literacy, education, career training, and conflict resolution. It will operate the new Congress Heights program site (Ward 8).
A map showing the geographic boundaries of the new sites is available here. Cure the Streets will begin hiring staff for the new sites and job announcements for Program Managers, Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters will be posted on Cure the Streets’ webpage after March 15, 2022.
Cure the Streets
Cure the Streets is a pilot program launched by OAG that aims to reduce shootings and gun homicides in District neighborhoods where gun violence is a persistent problem. It uses a data-driven, public-health approach that treats violence like a disease that can be interrupted, treated, and stopped from spreading. The program works to make a lasting impact in neighborhoods where it operates by detecting and deescalating potentially violent conflicts, intervening with those most likely to commit violence or become victims of violence, and mobilizing communities to change norms.
Cure the Streets is based on the Cure Violence program model, which employs credible individuals who have deep ties to the neighborhoods in which they work. Outreach workers and violence interrupters work to de-escalate conflicts, resolve disputes through mediation, and prevent shootings from happening. They also stay engaged with high-risk participants after a mediation to ensure a lasting peace and to connect them with the services – mental health, job training, and food – they need to live healthy lives.
The Cure Violence public health approach to violence reduction has had success in cities across the country. But it is not a solution by itself. Rather, Cure the Streets and other community-based violence prevention efforts are a needed piece in a much larger effort to reduce crime and violence, that includes the critical work of police, prosecutors, more involvement in trauma reduction services, and workforce development. Those larger efforts to improve public safety also should include aggressive gun safety reform, holding individuals accountable when they commit crimes and changing their behavior, so they are less likely to reoffend in the future, and addressing the root causes of crime in our communities – including poverty, hopelessness, and trauma – to break the cycle of violence.
OAG launched Cure the Streets in the summer of 2018. In December 2019, four additional sites began preparing for operations. Since January 2020, it has been fully operational in six distinct geographic areas in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
- Click here for more information about where the program currently operates.
- Cure the Streets is funded by OAG through grants to community-based non-profit organizations, which implement the program. OAG staff manages the grants and conducts ongoing monitoring of preliminary data on the sites.
- OAG also recently highlighted some of the people behind Cure the Streets in this Medium post.
Background on OAG’s work to increase public safety and reduce juvenile crime
As the District’s chief prosecutor for crimes committed by juveniles, AG Racine works to make the city safer through smart prosecution and innovative, evidence-informed initiatives. OAG’s public safety efforts aim to stop violence before it happens and address the root causes of crime to prevent justice-involved young people from reoffending. In July, AG Racine issued this statement on the need for the District to have a comprehensive strategy to address violent crime. Since taking office in 2015, AG Racine has worked to protect our community and rehabilitate young people who come into contact with the justice system by vigorously prosecuting violent crime, strengthening collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Department, addressing trauma and the root causes of crime, empowering victims and holding young offenders accountable through restorative justice, and partnering with neighboring jurisdictions. Click here for more details about these efforts.