Violence Reduction for Portland
Violence Reduction for Portland
Why this petition matters
The city of Portland has been having the conversation around how to address violence from a public health approach for many years. The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) and Nike Greene have passionately made the recommendation that, “Effective intervention [for violent crime] in the near term will require Life Coaches...” There are projects planned and recently implemented that will undoubtedly provide assistance to Portland residents including life coach programs recommended by the OVP and run through the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) nonprofit, as well as additional programs through the Latino Network, Elevate Oregon, and the Native American Youth Center. These programs are a necessity for longterm violence reduction, however currently they address Portland youth, yet the largest percentage of active shooters and victims in our community are aged 18-34 (average 31 years old) and overwhelmingly male. Currently, there are no targeted programs to serve this adult population.
At its core, Advance Peace (AP) is a violence-reduction program that saves both lives and money. It expends positive resources on the small percentage of individuals who are most likely to commit or become victims of gun violence...there is an immediate need to address the violence that traditional law enforcement practices have had difficulty curbing. AP’s response provides customized proactive opportunities and services to change the mindset of the individuals perpetuating the violence [working outside of the scope of policing]. In each partnering community, AP supports community goals to reduce cyclical gun violence, save lives, and improve the health and well-being of impacted neighborhoods.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Advance Peace identifies the most lethal individuals at the center of gun violence in a community, provides them with seven-days-a-week mentoring and supportive relationships using street outreach workers and delivers services and support to these individuals during an eighteen-month program called the Peacemaker Fellowship®.
For more details on how the program works, see the Advance Peace for Portland proposal.
“...in cities where gun crimes are high, it's a relatively small group—mostly men, mostly men of color, mostly under the age of 30—who drive most of the violence, i.e., solve conflicts with a firearm. You would think, based on the numbers, "It's got to be a lot of people involved." But in every city...it's a relatively small group of folks...in most cases less than .03 percent of the population. The implication being, we can actually wrap our arms around this. It's not so overwhelming that we can't get under it. Looking more closely, we also realized that nearly 98% of these individuals were not being engaged by any other public or community-based system of care. We have surmised that to achieve optimal gun violence reduction outcomes that translates into saved lives, we cannot overlook engaging this key group of individuals. Advance Peace is built around these learnings, the critical piece being these young men must be at the center of the solution equation. They must also be supported by folks who themselves were once there, have changed their lives around, and are making positive, healthy contributions to their communities.”
-DeVone Boggan, Founder of Advance Peace
THE COST OF VIOLENCE
Violent crime and gun violence are a burden for Portland not only due to the loss of life, but also through economic cost, resource allocation, and the social emotional impacts. To put it into perspective, Portland’s taxpayer’s cost per shooting is $670,000, while the cost per homicide is a staggering $1.4 million.
A partnership with Advance Peace requires the city to commit to programmatic funding of ⅓ of Fellowship program costs up to $250,000 per year for 3-5 years. This includes a minimum of 3-5 years of funding per fellow at approx $30K/fellow per year and $145,000 associated with personnel, operations, program and evaluation.
BUILDING ON OUR CAPACITY
Rather than developing a whole new program in Portland to address this crisis, incurring additional cost, time, resources, and the devastating possibility of failure, we should engage Advance Peace implementing their program to work with our city departments and non-profit organizations. Portland has the infrastructure and passionate commitment to solve this problem. Advance Peace offers an experienced team with a successful track record to build trust through recognizing our community’s trauma, assisting with healing in targeted areas, ultimately healing our entire city. If implemented fully with direct funding and the city’s commitment, Advance Peace will provide the necessary and urgent support for this vulnerable population not currently being supported in their healing.
- For more information on Advance Peace for Portland visit the proposal here.
- To see Advance Peace implemented in Fresno, CA watch this video.
Change.org petition created by Amira Schultz and Siri Michel-Midelfort MPH, MSW