$5 billion for a community violence intervention (CVI) initiative would be a historic investment in addressing America’s community gun violence crisis. This comprehensive investment in the implementation and sustainability of evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs is critical to reducing gun violence and building resilience and opportunity in our communities. Everytown for Gun Safety strongly supports including the $5 billion in the reconciliation bill, with the funding split between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Community gun violence is a public health crisis that disproportionately impacts our Black communities, reflecting our nation’s persistent racial inequities and low financial investment in communities of color. Over the past year and a half, the United States has seen the collision of two major public health crises: COVID-19 and gun violence. The pandemic has had a pronounced impact on gun violence in the United States as homicides increased to record levels in 2020, with sustained high levels in 2021. This level of violence undermines community confidence in safety, depresses economic recovery, and restricts community development and opportunity.
The proposed funding would be a targeted, long-term investment of $5 billion in America’s most impacted communities. This would be a necessary healthcare investment to root out violence before it happens, and would be a complement to other public safety strategies. The investment is grounded in work already being done by DOJ and HHS, and builds upon American Rescue Plan funds and existing federal grant programs that the Biden-Harris administration has advised should fund CVI programs in the short term.
The funds would go to cities with high rates of gun violence and within those cities, to local government, hospitals, and community-based organizations. The community-based violence intervention strategies are informed by public health models and provide culturally competent, trauma-responsive services to individuals and communities impacted by gun violence. These programs are evidence-informed strategies to reduce gun violence, shift community norms, and improve the outcomes and resiliency of gun violence survivors.1Caterina G. Roman et al., “Philadelphia CeaseFire: Findings from the Impact Evaluation,” Key Findings Research Summary (Temple University, January 2017); Catherine Juillard et al., “Saving Lives and Saving Money: Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Is Cost-Effective,” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 78, no. 2 (February 2015): 252–58, https://doi.org/10.1097/TA.0000000000000527.
The funding would support the implementation and sustainability of program models such as:
- Street Outreach
- Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs
- Group Violence Intervention
- Job and Entrepreneurship Training
- Wraparound Services for survivors of gun violence including: housing support, financial assistance, reentry services, legal assistance, and trauma counseling, among others.
Everytown is proud to be a member of the Invest In Us Coalition, which is comprised of community and national violence prevention organizations committed to building support for increased federal funding for evidence-informed community solutions to gun violence and educating leaders and the general public about proactive solutions to make our communities safer.