Skip to content

Hand in Hand Hospital Violence Intervention Program Awarded $100,000 Grant from the Everytown Community Safety Fund to Sustain Critical Gun Violence Prevention Work in Newport News


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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Today, the Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF), part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, announced $100,000 in funding for Riverside Health System’s Hand in Hand Hospital Violence Intervention Program in Newport News 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.

Hand-in-Hand is Riverside Health System’s hospital-based violence intervention program that combines efforts of hospital staff with community partners to provide advocacy, support, safety planning, case management, and trauma-informed care to violently injured patients and their families. Some of Hand in Hand’s programming includes help navigating the healthcare system and criminal justice process, aid connecting to mental health services and creating a safety plan, assisting with Virginia Victims’ Fund application, and referrals to additional community resources.

“We are proud to announce Hand in Hand, a hospital-based violence intervention program at Riverside Hospital, 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. “Hand in Hand delivers a multi-disciplinary approach alongside community partners, ensuring survivors of gun violence have access to advocacy, support, safety planning, case management, and trauma-informed care. With this grant,  the Everytown Community Safety Fund will support Hand in Hand’s continued delivery of direct assistance to survivors of gun violence in Newport News, a critical resource that helps break the cycle of gun violence.”

“Riverside Health System’s Hand in Hand Hospital Violence Intervention Program leverages the skills of hospital staff, those treating individuals and families directly affected by gun violence, to create a holistic support system,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “Gun violence is a public health crisis affecting our nation, and I commend the Everytown Community Safety Fund for seeing the benefits of investing in community health systems. The Hand in Hand program is a grassroots effort centered on community support and wraparound services that will create transformational and sustainable change in Newport News and the surrounding communities.”

“Our hospital-based violence intervention program, Hand-in-Hand, delivers bedside advocacy and support to victims of community violence when they enter our hospital for medical treatment after a traumatic event such as gun related injuries, stabbings, and assaults,” said January Serda, grants coordinator of the Hand in Hand Program at Riverside Health. “The Everytown Community Safety Fund award will support safety planning for the victim of violence and their family upon discharge from the hospital. The awarded funds will be used for crisis support to victims to help reduce risk factors of violence and promote positive alternatives to violence such as safe crisis housing, food, transportation to future medical appointments, and access to mental health resources.”

As gun violence continues to devastate communities following an exponential increase in recent years, community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs like Hand-in-Hand 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.