Mayor's Office of Violence Reduction

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The Mayor's Office of Violence Reduction focuses on community-based investments to reduce violence and promote safety and wellbeing. In many cases, these engagement-focused services are more impactful as complements to traditional law enforcement activities rather than relying on law enforcement, alone. Tandem improvements in community perceptions of police, reductions in crime, and an improved sense of community safety and belonging can be achieved when collaboration among residents, businesses, and other local stakeholders engage in proactive strategies that prevent crime and support healthy and safe communities.

Learn more about our key initiatives below.


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Street outreach

The Mayor's Office of Violence Reduction prioritizes street outreach and violence interruption services which are often considered secondary prevention or “in the thick” strategies to reach people who may be at increased risk for involvement in violence. In many cases, these engagement-focused services are more impactful as complements to traditional law enforcement activities rather than relying on law enforcement, alone. Conflict interruption programs reduce violence, injury, and lethality by employing street outreach workers to detect, interrupt and de-escalate potentially violent incidents in highly impacted neighborhoods and change the thinking and behaviors of persons at the highest risk of violent involvement.


Community areas with street outreach partners

 

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Community area 
Street outreach partner 
Auburn Gresham 
TARGET AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Austin 
INSTITUTE FOR NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO  
Chicago Lawn 
SOUTHWEST ORGANIZING PROJECT 
East Garfield Park 
BREAKTHROUGH URBAN MINISTRIES 
Englewood 
TARGET AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 
greater grand crossing
ACCLIVUS, INC.
Humboldt Park 
ALSO 
New City
PRECIOUS BLOOD MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
North Lawndale 
UCAN 
Roseland 
UCAN 
South Lawndale 
NEW LIFE CENTERS 
South Shore 
CLARETIAN ASSOCIATES 
West Englewood 
TARGET AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 
West Garfield Park 
INSTITUTE FOR NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO 
West pullman
ACCLIVUS, INC.

Victim Services

Victim services organizations provide comprehensive trauma-informed services for victims of violence and their families and other loved ones, including incident response and supporting impacted individuals through one-on-one interactions, support groups, and resource coordination.

Individuals and families across Chicago are impacted by community violence every day. Both victims and those who are close to victims, such as family members, friends, and partners, experience trauma, which is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) as:

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

We also know that violence impacts entire communities, not just those who have been directly injured. Exposure to community violence for children and adults leads to adverse psychosocial and health outcomes, which emphasizes the need for the City to support affected victims and communities. Our network of victim services providers seeks to ensure that all victims of violence receive the supports they need in order to heal.


Community areas with victim services partners 

 

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Community area 
Victim services partner 
Auburn Gresham 
UNIVERSAL FAMILY CONNECTION 
Austin 
INSTITUTE FOR NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO
East Garfield Park 
BREAKTHROUGH URBAN MINISTRIES 
Englewood 
UNIVERSAL FAMILY CONNECTION 
Humboldt Park 
BUILD 
New city
INSTITUTE FOR NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO
North Lawndale 
UCAN 
Roseland 
UCAN 
South Lawndale 
NEW LIFE CENTERS 
West Englewood 
CENTER FOR NEW HORIZONS 
West Garfield Park 
INSTITUTE FOR NONVIOLENCE CHICAGO

Capacity building and small grants

Smaller, neighborhood-based organizations are often well positioned to provide crime and violence prevention activities in their communities. These groups know the community members and leaders, understand community needs, and have ideas for how to address violence. The Mayors Office of Violence Reduction seeks to support these organizations in their efforts through small grants and capacity building opportunities, which will ultimately strengthen local efforts and promote safety and peace in communities.


Let's Link Chi

Let's Link Chi, a partnerhsip between the Office of Violence Reduction and the Chicago Community Trust and Chicago’s philanthropy community, is a small grants fund designed to engage communities in cultivating safe, accessible places where neighbors can assume ownership and promote positive activities. It is intended to enhance longer-term and larger efforts to address the problem of gun violence. Let’s Link Chi is a key component of the Mayor’s Office focus on supporting the people and communities most impacted by violence. Other components include street outreach, victim services, support for high-risk youth, and trauma-informed training.

The three pillars of the Let’s Link Chi are:

  • Activating public spaces changes individual and collective perceptions leading to new social norms.
  • Activities that promote physical exercise, mindfulness and social-emotional skills increase resiliency.
  • Consistency in activating spaces over time makes them safe, accessible and places where neighbors can assume ownership.

Let’s Link Chi offers rapid-response grant opportunities designed to support activities by nonprofit organizations that subscribe to these pillars, promoting cohesion, safety and peace in neighborhoods. It is a direct response to the many people and grassroots organizations that are taking on-the-ground action in their neighborhoods.

 


 

Community areas with Let's Link Chi partners

Community Area
Organization
Auburn Gresham
Metro Vision Partners NFP
The Black Star Project
Austin
Austin Town Hall Park Art & Culture Committee
GAP community Center
Jehovah Jireh 1 Outreach Ministry
The Garden of Love
Mothers On a Mission 28
East Garfield Park
City of Refuge - Chicago
Reborn Ministries
Englewood
New Eclipse Community Alliance
Something Good in Englewood Inc
Goodkids Madcity Englewood
Greater Grand Crossing
Kindness Campaign
Sacred Ground Ministries
Humboldt Park
Kells Park Community Council
Opera Matic NFP
New City
CBR Tranquility Development NFP
Union Impact Center
North Lawndale
360 Nation
Project Impact 180
Roseland
Kids Off the Block Inc
Rock Enterprises and Development Corporation
South Chicago
Bush Community Gardeners Organization
Free Lunch Academy
South Lawndale
Party Per Purpose
OPEN Center for the Arts
South Shore
Sisters in Cinema
South Merrill Community Garden
South Side Jazz Coalition
Sacred Ground Ministries
Washington Park
Future Ties NFP
West Garfield Park
Mothers Ona Mission28
City of Refuge - Chicago
Reborn Ministries
West Pullman
FOUS Youth Development Services