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Youth Impacted Each Year
When asked what a safe community would feel like, children in our communities tell us that they wouldn’t be afraid to play in the park. Parents say they wouldn’t have to attend so many funerals for young people claimed by gun violence. One youth told us that most people take for granted how safe they are on a daily basis, but not in our neighborhoods, where the frequent lack of safety takes its toll on community health. The first step to healing communities impacted by gun violence is understanding why it happens, how it spreads, and the impact on families. Our Rock Safe Streets program is designed to “cure violence” through prevention, treatment for trauma, advocacy, education, and pathways to stronger, safer communities for all.
We were one of the first agencies called upon by the City to implement the nationally-recognized Cure Violence methodology in Far Rockaway, Queens. Cure Violence is an evidence-proven public health model for “interrupting” violence which was developed in Chicago’s gang-prone neighborhoods. The program’s innovators introduced mediators, called “violence interrupters,” who were from the neighborhoods with the highest homicide rates, but who had succeeded in finding avenues to success beyond the influence and impact of gangs. Like the violence interrupters in Chicago, our Rock Safe Streets staff leverage their credibility to effectively de-escalate conflict and build community momentum toward peace and economic development.
Our doors are open to individuals ages 16-25 in Far Rockaway and Arverne, Queens who are gang-involved, on probation, or otherwise at risk of participating in or being the victim of violence. We stand with the entire Far Rockaway community to heal our neighborhoods and reclaim our streets for safer futures. We welcome all advocates for personal and community healing and safety.