Center for American Progress

Community Violence Intervention: Sustainable Funding for Generational Work

Community Violence Intervention: Sustainable Funding for Generational Work

In this video, community violence intervention leaders Juan Avila, Denise Villamil, Melvyn Hayward, Susan Lee, and Chris Edge discuss how long-term investments in CVI programs can have long-term benefits.

Part of a Series
Supporting the funding of CVI work that’s really going to deliver long-term, systematic changes for our communities. Denise Villamil, executive director, Southern California Crossroads

Community violence intervention (CVI) programs are an effective part of a public health approach to reducing community violence and require long-term planning and purposeful engagement in the communities in which they operate to realize their full potential. This approach to interrupting cycles of violence has proved to be one of the most reliable and cost-effective ways to reduce community violence. Studies have shown that, when faithfully implemented, for every $1 invested in a CVI program, a community can save up to $41 in medical and criminal legal expenses. Despite this evidence, CVI programs often must do this critical, lifesaving work on shoestring budgets and with uncertain fiscal futures. However, recent investments in CVI programs are encouraging.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice under the Biden administration created the Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) in 2022 to award grants and to provide technical assistance to CVI programs nationwide. Building on this, the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act allocated $250 million to the CVIPI over five years. States such as California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maryland have prioritized CVI programs in their state budgets. For example, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services directed $12.6 million to local CVI programs in fiscal year 2023. Additionally, since California enacted an excise tax on guns and ammunition to support funding for violence intervention and prevention programs through Assembly Bill 28, lawmakers in seven states have introduced similar legislation. City leaders are also prioritizing CVI programs in their budgets. Philadelphia, for example, allocated more than $184 million in fiscal year 2023 to its “Roadmap to Safer Communities,” which includes investments to expand existing CVI and hospital-based violence intervention programs.

Although these investments are significant, more coordinated and reliable funding at the local, state, and federal levels is needed to ensure CVI programs are appropriately supported in their pursuit to transform communities most affected by violence.

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Nick Wilson

Senior Director, Gun Violence Prevention

Chandler Hall

Senior Policy Analyst


Matthew Gossage

Events Video Producer

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Andrew Sonntag

Former Events Video Producer


Gun Violence Prevention

Our goal is to reduce gun violence by enacting strong gun laws, increasing investment in local solutions, and growing the movement dedicated to this mission.

Explore The Series

Photo shows a young man lighting a candle in the late evening

In America, gunshots rattle communities every 11 minutes. Amid this cycle of tragedy, community violence intervention (CVI) programs are addressing the root causes of violence to end cycles before they can start.

Through collaboration with residents and government officials, CVI programs curb the spread of gun violence by meeting community members where they are and responding to their individual needs. In violence-affected neighborhoods, residents are grappling with trauma and long-standing hardships that fuel the rise in shootings. But CVI programs channel resources back into the community, improving access to needed resources such as education, employment, housing, and health care.

In a nation haunted by the daily occurrence of gun violence, CVI programs provide a path forward—toward healing, unity, and a safer future for everyone.

This series highlights resources on CVI programs and stories from the voices of change on the front lines of America’s gun violence epidemic. These narratives are a reminder of the challenges and successes that outline the effort to save more lives.


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