By AFRO Staff

The City of Baltimore faces dual public health crises; the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing violence epidemic, currently plaguing Baltimore neighborhoods. 

At the Shirley Avenue Park in Park Heights, Mayor Brandon Scott and violence advocates gathered to announce Mayor Scott’s $50 million investment into the violent prevention efforts with the American Rescue Plan funding. 

“Over the next three years, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety Engagement (MONSE) will receive $50 million dollars to fund these efforts. This is a major, major investment for Baltimore and for all community-based organizations doing the work on the ground to stem the tide of violence,” Mayor Scott said.

“The residents of Baltimore depend on organizations like Safe Streets, We Are Us, Roar, and Turnaround Inc. to tackle violence in Baltimore,” Shantay Jackson said, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety Engagement.

“The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, is so very excited. About this unprecedented investment in violence and violence prevention in our city. This is exactly what Baltimore needs,”  Jackson said.

Invested funding will be poured into several initiatives: gun violence prevention, intensive case management, emergency housing, relocation assistance, transitional employment program, mental health services, victim services to survivors of gun violence and more. Scott says these practices will build towards safer neighborhoods and make for better a Baltimore.

Approximately, 30 grants and contracts will be administered to Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs by MONSE. This funding will allow community-based organizations to combat conflicts and disputes before they escalate. These organizations will not only stop incidents but will provide residents the help needed to navigate life after experiencing gun violence, and to connect residents to needed resources.

Scott said he’s, “proud to make an investment that will significantly increase our capacity to reduce violence occurring on our streets and to activate community-based organizations as part of our comprehensive violence prevention plan,” 

Funding will also be allocated to the community-based organization, the Coordinated Neighborhood Stabilization effort, according to the Mayor. Their partnership will provide response to traumatic neighborhood events, such as, major law enforcement takedowns, police involved shootings and acts of violence. The organization will also support the creation of the neighborhood leasing plans, which will give residents a say-so in how police respond to calls to service.

“Not solving, curing Baltimore violence is my top priority as mayor,” Scott said. 

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