Seattle Mayor Durkan announces new investment to address gun violence

Seattle Mayor Durkan announces new investment to address gun violence

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: July 23rd, 2021

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan joined King County Executive Dow Constantine and city and community leaders to announce new City of Seattle investments in community-led safety efforts to help address the rise in gun violence.

In an effort to bring together high-risk youth impacted by gun violence, Zero Youth Detention and Seattle/King County Public Health partnered with Harborview Medical Center, HIPRC, and several community organizations to create a hospital violence intervention program called the Regional Peacekeeper Collective. This pilot program is for young adults, ages 16-24 years old who are seen and treated at HMC for injuries related to gun violence. Instead of sending these patients right back into their same environment, without any strategies for how to stay safe or change their life trajectory, this program sends these young adults out with a web of support. The main goals of this program are to decrease recidivism and death due to reinjury, decrease youth detention, increase education and employment, decrease drug and substance abuse and to improve mental health outcomes.

In the Regional Peacekeeper Collective, doctors at HMC engage with the young adults and their siblings/families during their stay in the hospital. When they are discharged, families are set up with an outreach worker from one of the community partner organizations. This outreach worker helps families address their child’s underlying social determinants of health, help them navigate the health care and judicial system, help with finding alternatives to violence.

In general, services and strategies include:

  • activating neighborhood-based strategies to reduce crime rates at hotspot
  • de-escalation support in response to shots fired
  • re-entry services
  • case management
  • community awareness about disproportionality in criminal legal services
  • family support to prevent youth from entering the criminal legal system
  • supports to address family and gender-based violence

The investment builds on Mayor Durkan’s announcement of $10.4 million to support 33 community organizations focused on BIPOC safety. Programs will cover a range of services and upstream investments including violence prevention and restorative justice.

HSD and the review committee recommended funding activities with the following organizations:

Academy for Creating Excellence Creative Justice Oromia Community Center in Washington
African Community Housing & Development East African Community Services PlusPositively LLC
Africatown Community Land Trust Empowering Youth and Families Outreach POCAAN (People of Color Against AIDS Network)
Alphabet Alliance of Color Evergreen Treatment Services REACH Public Defender Association Collective Justice
API Chaya Fathers and Sons Together Rainier Beach Action Coalition
Arms Around You Freedom Project Seattle Neighborhood Group
Black Star Line Fresh Start Sexual Violence Law Center
Chief Seattle Club King County Equity Now Somali Family Safety Task Force
CHOOSE 180_Community Leaders Roundtable of Seattle Korean Community Service Center Surge Reproductive Justice
Community Passageways Mother Nation The Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse
Consejo Counseling and Referral Services Multi-Communities WA Therapy Fund Foundation
From L to R: Diaz, Constantine, Durkan, Wheeler-Smith, Kleweno-Walley, Davis, Rivara

Speakers included:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City of Seattle
Sommer Kleweno-Walley, Interim CEO, Harborview Medical Center
Dow Constantine, King County Executive
Adrian Diaz, Seattle Police Chief
Dr. Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Harborview Injury and Prevention Research Center
Derrick Wheeler-Smith, Director, Zero Youth Detention
Dominique Davis, CEO, Community Passageways

To view the complete address, click here.