KANSAS CITY, MO – The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) has awarded Aim4Peace a $300,000 bridge grant to sustain the community-based organization for the next six months as they pursue longer term funding.
Aim4Peace is the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s violence-reduction program that began in 2008. Aim4Peace is a comprehensive public health strategy designed to reduce violence by supporting people active in their community and by connecting residents to basic services.
“Health Forward’s mission is focused on eliminating barriers to quality health for the uninsured and underserved. The violence in our urban core is a major health threat to this community, therefore we are pleased to announce this grant to help support the efforts of Aim4Peace to reduce violence in Kansas City,” said Larry Blankinship, Chair of the Health Forward Board of Directors. “This funding provides a short-term opportunity to retain an evidence-based program that is operating at considerable scale in a high-need community and making a positive difference.”
This year, the City of Kansas City, Mo., reduced funding for Aim4Peace from $773,083 to $150,492 due to budget constraints, enough only to assure support of the program through August 1, 2009. This one-time Health Forward grant will support operations of the group for the next six months as they seek other funding opportunities.
“While it is unusual for the Foundation to provide funds to replace money for programs that have been cut from city government budgets, the Health Forward Board felt it appropriate that this one-time grant was necessary to keep this start-up and community-based organization alive for another six months while they are applying for federal grants,” said Blankinship. “If Aim 4 Peace is not successful in obtaining this federal grant money, Health Forward is not in a position to continue funding this project indefinitely.”
Through its efforts in 2008, the Aim4Peace public health model obtained $2,416,488 in savings by intervening in 22 documented conflicts between rival groups/gangs. This includes a breakdown of $963,754 in health care savings and $1,449,734 in law enforcement savings.
“Aim4Peace is grounded in both the social-ecological model, adopted by the Centers for Disease Control as a violence prevention model and the framework for public health action in communities, adopted by the Institute of Medicine,” said Tracie McClendon-Cole, Justice Program Coordinator. “Through hands-on activities, mentoring, school- based program, and community support, youth and young adults discover a world supported with hope both in and out of the classroom. Participants are challenged to identify the problems or opportunities through a risk-reduction plan designed to offer long-term solutions.”