Community Partnership Teams
The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) is focused on reducing youth violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods. The work of the VPI is completed by community and academic partners, who together are implementing the initiative based on best-practice and evidence-based models. The approach of the VPI includes positive youth and family development programming aimed at preventing violence before it occurs, as well as building greater capacity throughout the community to prevent future violence.
The VPI has united the Medical College of Wisconsin with 29 community agency partners through funding of four community partnership teams; while each project differs due to diversity in neighborhoods and service populations, ALL partners are aligned under the same VPI mission and are addressing the three VPI priorities aimed at reducing youth violence. The VPI teams include:
Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative (HYFCC)
The Holton Youth + Family Center Collaborative will use a three-tiered approach to youth violence prevention id founded on an evidence-based structure that addresses the array of community voiced and data driven needs from Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods. The Collaborative uses the Targeted Tier, Nurturing Parenting Program, Community Investment Program and Restorative Justice practices. The Collaborative design will reduce violence by stopping the cycling of dysfunction at the individual, family, and systems levels that result in marginalization, disempowerment, and disconnection – all of which lead to criminality, gang involvement and violence.
United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM) Violence Prevention Initiative
United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM) Violence Prevention Initiative uses its great and varied collaborative knowledge and strong neighborhood relationships to promote safer communities for a diverse population city-wide. UNCOM staff brings together parents and youth from each of the eight UNCOM agencies to provide them with tools that build on strengths for affecting positive change in their lives and promotes the reduction and prevention violence.
Ripple Effect Milwaukee: Spreading Peace and Building Communities (REM)
Ripple Effect Milwaukee utilized their collective experience and expertise to develop a comprehensive peace building curriculum that will be implemented in five Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) sites and the St. Charles FOCUS program in their first year. This curriculum features a peer-training-peer component and will be expanded to include five additional BGCGM sites in each the second and third year of funding. Additionally, REM will create youth-led leadership councils and theatrical productions that actively engage the community to reduce and prevent violence.
Safe Schools Healthy Students Lindsay Heights Initiative
The Safe Schools, Healthy Students Lindsey Heights Initiative will decrease the number of personal and physical safety incidents that were a result of fighting in in the Lindsey Heights schools and community, increase school attendance rates in grades K5-5, and increase the number of parents trained in child development including social and emotional skills. Additionally the initiative will decrease the number of middle and high school students who do not go to school because they feel unsafe at school or on their way to or from school; decrease the number of student incidents and actions related to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco by the targeted schools; and increase middle and high school students who report are looking forward to coming to school. The Initiative will train youth in Restorative Justice; peer facilitation and mentoring; and utilize Peers with Impact to help decrease violence in the community.
The VPI is a special initiative of the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. While there are other large youth violence prevention programs in the U.S. that involve strong community-academic partnership with rigorous evaluation design, the VPI is the only privately-funded initiative.