Mayor Gavin Buckley
Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or email@example.com
Annapolis Pilots Violence Interruption Program
Using Peer-Mediated Approach
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 26, 2021) - The City of Annapolis is launching a pilot program to use a peer-mediated approach to interrupt violence in communities. The program will run between mid-February and the end of April.
The “Neighbors Organized Helping Avoid Reduce Mortality Violence Intervention Prevention,” (NO HARM VIP) has a mission to empower individuals within communities to work toward preventing and intervening in future acts of violence. Currently, the City is looking to hire a team of individuals who may have a personal history of violence and who are now advocates for community healing for the 10-week pilot.
“This program may be modeled on other violence interruption programs, but it is unique to Annapolis,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “I am grateful to Adetola Ajayi, African American Community Service Specialist in my office, for developing the initiative as a way to engage the community and end a cycle of violence.”
Team members will learn and be able to teach conflict resolution and other mediation practices to community members. NO HARM VIP community members will be be equipped to connect residents to support services and resources.
The program employs “credible messengers,” individuals with transformative experiences who have dealt with the criminal justice system or community violence. Those who have committed or survived community violence can become credible messengers for interrupting violence in their own neighborhoods.
Team members will operate in neighborhoods to identity individuals with a history of substance use disorder, violence, or other community trauma and connect them to assistance in seeking safe and secure food, clothing, and/or shelter. Team members may help individuals engage in conflict resolution and de-escalation training, make connections to apprenticeship or internship programs, or offer bagged lunches, toiletries, community cares packages and other resources.
The NO HARM VIP program will be coordinated by Mr. Ajayi. Community advocate Erica Griswold will assist the effort as a part-time Community Outreach Support Navigator to assist individuals seeking support services or workforce development opportunities. Asia Wallace is the NO HARM VIP Team Neighborhood Engagement Specialist. In her role she will coordinate the VIP Team members’ neighborhood outreach efforts.
The position will pay $12 an hour at 20 hours per week. To be considered for program email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-972-6257.
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