Video

Debunking CVI Myths: CVI Is Only Street Outreach

In this video, Susan Lee, chief of strategy and policy at Chicago CRED, shares how community violence intervention work has evolved over time to provide more holistic and evidence-based approaches to violence prevention.

Part of a Series

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.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Chandler Hall

Senior Policy Analyst

Nick Wilson

Senior Director

Arnitta R. Holliman

Director, Gun Violence Prevention

Producers

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Matthew Gossage

Events Video Producer

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production

Team

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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