The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, today applauded the Cook County Board for a $5 million investment in Metropolitan Family Services and Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), which use street outreach to end gun violence in 22 communities across Cook County.
“An investment into local gun violence prevention strategies is an investment in the livelihood of our communities,” said Maria Pike, a Senior Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network, and volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These are evidence-based solutions that save lives. The Cook County Board has set an example for other communities struggling with gun violence, and we applaud their efforts.”
“If we want to end gun violence, local gun violence intervention programs must be at the forefront of that fight,” said Catherine Richards, a Cook County resident and volunteer leader with Wilmette Students Demand Action. “This is an important step to addressing this public health crisis disproportionately impacting Black people in Illinois. Other counties should quickly follow this lead.”
Communities Partnering 4 Peace connects community members with programs to support emotional wellness, including trauma-informed counseling and family support services. This investment comes as the number of gun suicides among Cook County’s Black residents have “doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to last year,” and more than 40% involved guns.
Community-based violence intervention and prevention programs apply localized approaches that are well-suited to address gun violence in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. During the pandemic, violence interrupters’ mission is two-fold: continuing the essential work of preventing gun violence, while also helping with food and PPE distribution to underserved communities. Read more about the need for street outreach during the pandemic here.