NEW YORK — New York City launched a “Heal-the-Violence” program to serve the youth in the city’s public housing developments.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced Tuesday the kickoff of the $720,000 pilot program, which is focused on engaging with young people to prevent conflicts in their communities.
“Healing is the idea – teaching, supporting, healing. A localized anti-violence curriculum for young people, teens and early twenties, at more than 20 NYCHA developments around the city. And this is the kind of investment we need more of, teaching young people, supporting them on the right path, stopping violence before it occurs,” the mayor said during his Tuesday press briefing.
“Young people living in underserved and under-resourced public housing communities are especially impacted by traumatic violence, and this program is designed to center their voices in finding meaningful solutions for creating safer neighborhoods,” said NYCHA EVP for Community Engagement and Partnerships Sideya Sherman and Executive Director for the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “Heal-the-Violence is one of several long-term strategies that will support community health, security, and opportunity at NYCHA campuses.”
The program will serve about 360 of NYCHA’s youth ages 14 to 24. Those selected must live at one of the 20 participating NYCHA campuses across the five boroughs.
The selected are eligible to receive up to $150 for their participation, with designated youth leaders eligible for $300.
Selected vendors will host onsite activities one to two times a week. Over eight weeks, they will build transformative relationships and learn to address public safety through education and activism.
The initiative is part of a $2 million investment made by the mayor to provide educational and athletic programming to address violence in the city’s hardest-hit NYCHA communities, according to Sherman.
“Violence is not inevitable. It’s something we all have the power to address. Through this program, young people will be setting an example for us all,” she said.