PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia announced today the launch of the Violence Prevention Support Services initiative, a partnership between the City and Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). The two agencies will collaborate to advance key strategies in the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities. The project focuses on delivering supportive services to individuals ages 18 to 34 living in PHA supported housing and who are at high risk of becoming involved in or a victim to gun violence.
As the largest landlord in Pennsylvania and with many of its residents highly at-risk of engaging in or becoming victims of gun violence, the Philadelphia Housing authority is uniquely positioned to partner with the City in this effort and tackle this issue of gun violence head on.
“As we fight to protect our communities and do everything we can to create a safer Philadelphia,
we continue to strive towards stronger collaboration and coordination across all our services— with a strong focus on neighborhoods and areas of the city that are most impacted by violence,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This partnership with PHA is a meaningful step forward that will help enhance our ability to deliver resources, supports, and services to the people most in need.”
The Anti-Violence Support Services initiative seeks to reduce gun violence in the following ways:
- Expanding and deepening outreach and engagement to individuals most at risk of committing gun violence.
- Expanding the availability of supportive services for those individuals most at risk of committing gun violence.
To achieve these goals, the City looks to increase access to resources for individuals most at risk of committing gun violence living within public housing by expanding on-site services for residents living within or near PHA supported housing. The initiative will launch at the following PHA sites:
- Bartram Village (5404 Gibson Drive, 19143)
- Strawberry Mansion Apartments & Gordon Apartments (33rd & Berks Streets, 19121)
- Wilson Park (2500 Jackson Street, 19145)
- Raymond Rosen (2301 West Edgley Street, 19121)
- Richard Allen (110 Poplar Street, 19123)
“The PHA is excited to partner with the City of Philadelphia and the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) on this important initiative,” said PHA’s President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “The RAB represents PHA residents from across all parts of the City and they have a deep understanding of the needs of the communities we serve. They are well positioned to lead this effort. I want to thank them and the Mayor for this important collaboration that will reach the young men in these communities.”
The Resident Advisory Board will lead the initiative with support from leading non-profits focused on violence prevention, Every Murder Is Real and Father’s Day Rally Committee. The initiative will be conducted in two phases. Phase One involves outreach to 300+ individuals at risk of involvement with gun violence, with the goal of enrolling 150. During Phase one, enrolled participants attend facilitated sessions for ten weeks to receive financial, professional, and mental health support, with financial incentives of up to $1,000 for participants hitting key milestones. Phase Two will provide ongoing mental health support and focuses on career selection, skill building, and connection to job training and other employment services provided by the PHA partners such as PowerCorpsPHL, PHA CVS Pharmacy Tech Program, PHA’s entrepreneurial fellowships and more.
The Violence Prevention Support Services Initiative is funded jointly by the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Housing Authority and will continue throughout the fall.