The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency is awarding the City of Allentown and Promise Neighborhoods a nearly $150,000 grant to reduce the incidence of gun violence.
The money comes from the Commission’s 2018 Gun Violence Reduction Initiative.
The city will partner with Promise Neighborhoods, which is the recipient agency, to plan and pilot the Cure Violence program model in designated neighborhoods within Allentown.
The program aims to reduce gun-related assaults, robberies and homicides by 10 percent in the first year. Allentown had seven gun-related homicides in 2016 and 14 in 2017.
“Public safety is our top priority,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “I am very pleased the PCCD has approved our application and will fund the effort. The Cure Violence program model is working in other areas, and we are happy to bring them aboard to try to make a difference in Allentown.”
The one year grant includes funds to hire a full-time Project Coordinator/Crisis Worker and Crisis Outreach Worker. Funding will also be used for an assessment visit by the national Curb Violence Program and for staff training and technical assistance from national/regional consultants.
According to its website, “Cure Violence was founded by Gary Slutkin, M.D., former head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Intervention Development Unit and Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois/Chicago School of Public Health. Cure Violence launched in West Garfield Park, one of the most violent communities in Chicago, and was quick to produce results, reducing shootings by 67% in its first year. Cure Violence is a teaching, training, research and assessment non-governmental organization focused on a health approach to violence prevention.”