ST. GEORGE — A new anti-gun violence program will target the North Shore of Staten Island, City Councilwoman Debi Rose announced Wednesday.
The Cure Violence initiative, based on Chicago's CeaseFire program, will identify those who are at risk of committing gun violence and work to change their behavior.
“It’s really important that we are dealing with this holistically,” Rose said. “There’s not just one contributing factor to gun violence.”
Rose secured the funding for the North Shore’s program from the City Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, and was joined by the co-chairman of the task force, Councilman Jumaane Williams, to announce the program outside Curtis High School.
“It’s very important that we take proactive measures,” Williams said. “This is about a holistic approach, and communities taking accountability for where they live."
Cure Violence will work with community groups in the neighborhood to implement the program, which includes job training, conflict mediation and mental health services.
“When we spoke about these issues, we spoke about how important it is that young people have structured, constructive activities,” Rose said. “That there are jobs available for them. That there are mental health services for those who have been traumatized.”
The first initiative will be a youth forum on June 15 about developing a holistic approach to reduce gun violence, hosted by the Central Family Life Center, one of the sponsors.
“We hope that through these meaningful partnerships and this exciting and innovative workshop... that we will not only make a dent in violence, but also open up other avenues for dialogue for future events to come,” said the Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina, executive director of Central Family Life Center.
So far this year, Rose said at least seven shootings have been reported in her district, and more than 300 shootings have been reported citywide.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the number of shootings in my district, and Staten Island, and citywide, to a number that is zero,” Rose said.