Skip to content

COMPASS Youth Collaborative Awarded $100,000 Grant from the Everytown Community Safety Fund to Sustain Critical Gun Violence Prevention Work in Hartford


Everytown Will Also Provide Strategic Support Including Peer Convening, Capacity-Building Training, Data and Research Access and Support from Everytown’s Volunteer Networks

HARTFORD, Conn. — Today, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF), part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, announced $100,000 in funding for COMPASS Youth Collaborative in Hartford to sustain their work and better position them to access federal funding. The grant is part of Everytown Community Safety Fund’s $2.35 million investment in funding to 35 community-based violence intervention organizations. The Everytown Community Safety Fund, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is the largest national initiative solely dedicated to fueling the life-saving work of community-based violence intervention organizations in cities nationwide.

COMPASS Youth Collaborative connects with youth at high risk of experiencing gun violence wherever they are in the city of Hartford, and engages them in relationships to provide support and opportunities that help them become ready, willing and able to succeed in education, employment and life. Compass deploys peacebuilders, who are case managers, mentors, and teachers, to help youth build peace, in their minds, in their lives and in their communities.  

“We are proud to announce the COMPASS Youth Collaborative has been awarded a 2023 Support Grant from the Everytown Community Safety Fund,” said Michael-Sean Spence, managing director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and creator of the Everytown Community Safety Fund. “COMPASS offers a multifaceted approach to addressing gun violence, blending street outreach and hospital intervention with an unwavering commitment to serving at-risk Hartford youth and young adults With this grant, the Everytown Community Safety Fund will help COMPASS enhance their operations and continue expansion of their case management and mentoring programs, which are vital to their mission to create safer environments for our youth, and a future free from gun violence.” 

“Community violence intervention programs are a proven way to break the cycle of gun violence, and Connecticut has been a leader in this work for many years,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. “COMPASS Youth Collaborative and 4-CT are great examples of how building relationships and investing in our communities can save lives. I’m proud to see the Everytown Community Safety Fund support these two very deserving organizations in their fight to make our communities safer.”

“I am ecstatic COMPASS Youth Collaborative is being recognized for their critical work in Hartford,” said Connecticut Speaker of the House Matt Ritter. “The team at COMPASS works directly with vulnerable youth in Hartford and helps them carve out promising futures. COMPASS’ inclusion as a 2023 Everytown Community Safety Fund Support Grantee is a recognition of their tireless efforts to break the cycle of violence.”

“As in many cities nationwide, shooting incidents in Hartford have increased in the past three years, and the COMPASS Peacebuilders is part of a coalition of partners committed to addressing this public health crisis,” said Jacquelyn Santiago Nazario, CEO of Compass Youth Collaborative. “We are grateful not only for this grant from the Everytown Community Safety Fund but also for the opportunity to deepen our engagement with the team at Everytown.” 

As gun violence continues to devastate communities following an exponential increase in recent years, community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs like COMPASS Youth Collaborative are working tirelessly to sustain their work, working with individuals at the highest risk of shooting or being shot and helping reduce violence through targeted interventions — including street outreach and hospital-based violence intervention — in the country’s most vulnerable communities. These programs are on the frontlines in the cities with the highest gun violence and communities experiencing the disproportionate impact of gun violence. While historic investments have been made at all levels of government, CVI organizations still struggle to access promised funding and when they do, funding is restricted to programmatic expenses, preventing them from increasing staff, building their capacity or scaling to more people and places in need. 

Since 2019, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF) has granted $10.6 million in support of 117 community-based violence intervention organizations implementing promising strategies, like street outreach, hospital-based violence interventions and youth development and counseling, in more than 67 American cities. This latest round of first-time support Gsants, currently CSF’s largest grant offering, will provide grant recipients $100,000, in two disbursements over two years, as well as access to CSF’s quarterly calls, peer convenings, capacity-building trainers, national conferences, as well as support from Everytown, and it’s grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, and national partners. 

Grantee selection follows a rigorous process administered by Everytown Community Safety Fund staff, as well as Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and an external review panel of experts from across the country, including the Everytown Community Safety Fund Advisory Board, made up of advocates, academics, survivors and city leaders from diverse backgrounds who recognize the critical role community-based violence intervention organizations serve as a component of a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence.

The full list of community-based violence intervention organizations currently supported by the Everytown Community Safety Fund and more information about the fund can be found here.