We have started work to implement our anti-violence action plan. Released in January 2019, the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities uses a public health approach and focuses on addressing the underlying causes of gun violence.
While we’re pleased to report the initial steps we’ve taken toward fighting the scourge of gun violence in our communities, rest assured—we are committed to this work for the long haul.
Here’s what we’ve been doing to achieve the goals of the comprehensive Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities.
Goal 1: Connected & Thriving Youth, Young Adults, & Families
- Increased subsidized job training, employment opportunities, and work-readiness programs through 14 providers for youth and young adults at risk of violence. This was made possible with a with a $2.1 million investment of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Youth Development funds available through the Philadelphia Works.
- Started work to expand the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership and the Community Crisis Intervention Program to more districts to connect more youth, young adults, and families affected by violence to needed services and support.
- Increased summer job recruitment for WorkReady programs in areas where youth and young adults are at a high risk of gun violence and where recruitment in previous years has been low; expanded summer work experiences by beginning two weeks early.
Goal 2: Coordinated City Services & Planning
- Established an executive-level team in the Office of the Managing Director charged with implementing the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities. It is co-chaired by Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety Vanessa Garrett Harley and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
- Created action teams to achieve our objectives related to education, workforce, community-based services, communications, neighborhood revitalization and environmental factors, and data and evaluation. These teams meet at least biweekly.
Goal 3: Strong Community Engagement & Partnerships
- Launched the Targeted Community Investment Grant Program to support more local efforts to prevent and reduce gun violence in communities. The team is evaluating nearly 400 applications for the first round of grant awards, ranging from $500 to $20,000.
Goal 4: Safer & Healthier Neighborhoods
- Collecting and analyzing more data that will inform policing and program decisions and help us develop effective interventions in neighborhoods experiencing high rates of gun violence. This is part of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Operation Pinpoint.
- Amped up our efforts to improve environmental conditions by cleaning, greening and maintenance of vacant lots in neighborhoods with the highest risk of gun violence.
- Expanding the number of teams for the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) to provide on-the-job training for young adults and to help address quality-of-life issues in communities.
Mayor’s proposed budget strengthens anti-violence efforts
Mayor Kenney’s proposed budget includes an extra $31 million for violence prevention. Among those key investments:
- Grants for community groups on the front line of neighborhood violence.
- New funding for the Community Crisis Intervention Program and the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership.
- Enhanced L&I enforcement for vacant lots, property violations, and side yards in high-risk neighborhoods.
- Nearly $12 million in funding for Neighborhood Resource Centers—giving people on probation and their families access to a broad range of services to support their health and reduce the risk of recidivism.
- Addition of 50 police officers, funds for the citywide expansion of body-worn cameras for officers, and significant capital funds for the new Public Safety Building at 400 N. Broad Street.
The mayor’s budget is now being considered by City Council.
Our team will continue to regularly update residents about our ongoing and long-term work to combat gun violence in Philadelphia.
For more information regarding the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities and to learn how you can get involved in this work, please contact the Office of Violence Prevention at (215) 686-0789 or OVPinfo@phila.gov.