Where does violence happen? For youth, too often it hits close to home: statistics show that violence typically occurs .4 miles from where they live, compared to over a mile away from school.

This year, Get IN Chicago is making a concentrated effort to fund and support community-based initiatives to reduce violence.  We believe that community efforts hold enormous promise in this regard, and we also know, per research, that youth-involved and resident-led strategies can complement and strengthen this work in high need communities.  MASK’s work in Englewood provides a great example of how dedicated community members can make an impact on community violence.

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Photo via DNAinfo: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150728/englewood/no-shootings-since-army-of-moms-set-up-on-s-side-blocks-but-help-needed

Nonprofit and government agencies have already dedicated significant time and resources to supporting evidenced-based prevention and intervention strategies to drive down youth violence.  To build off their work, and because the best efforts engage a wide variety of stakeholders to create a more comprehensive solution, Get IN Chicago seeks letters of interest from resident-led violence prevention initiatives.  Our goal is to fund projects that meet the unique needs of residents who live in communities most affected by the violence.  The overarching goal of this funding opportunity is to support residents who know through their own experiences the barriers communities face when confronting incidences of violence and crime.

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Get IN Chicago requests letters from non-profit organizations that will partner with community activists and resident leaders (including young people) to realize the vision of a resident created and resident led program that can improve safety and overall community well-being. We are particularly interested in projects that  empower adult and youth residents to advocate for their own community and aim to improve safety by building neighbor to neighbor relationships, but by no means are those limiting factors.

Community change is possible when multiple entities become engaged with moving forward around a common goal.  Working in partnerships to achieve a common goal holds promise for the prevention of violence, crime and poverty because collaborations can potentially address risk factors across multiple domains including, communities, schools, families, and individuals.