Community violence intervention (CVI) programs have a long and diverse history of performing street outreach or violence interruption work, in which frontline workers leverage their personal connections and visibility in a community to interrupt escalating tensions or stop violence before it occurs. Beyond street outreach, frontline CVI workers connect those most at risk with housing, employment, healing resources, and other social services in order to prevent gun violence before it erupts. Providing wraparound services is a central component of the work frontline workers do every day to intervene in community violence and reestablish a sense of hope and connectedness.
In this video, Susan Lee, chief of strategy and policy at Chicago CRED, shares how much the field has evolved over time to incorporate more tools to encourage behavior change beyond outreach workers with few resources risking their lives to interrupt violence and spread anti-violence messages. CVI programs that invest in case management, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to change patterns of thinking, and creating a coordinated ecosystem of support over a longer period of time are able to sustain sizable reductions in community violence.