The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs announced grant awards totaling $100 million to support communities throughout the United States in efforts to reduce gun crime and other serious violence. The announcement was made on Thursday, September 29, 2022, during a visit to Baltimore.
Living Classrooms Foundation was awarded $1,950,000 and is one of three Baltimore recipients. Living Classrooms will leverage its existing programs, partnerships, and services and expand upon current services to establish a trauma-informed Crisis Intervention Management System that will target underlying factors contributing to violence in the Belair-Edison and McElderry Park communities of East Baltimore. The Crisis Intervention Management System will address immediate needs of those individuals at highest risk of being either a victim or perpetrator of violence, including food, housing, employment, and mental health interventions. Living Classrooms will expand its current workforce development services with the creation of a mobile workforce development team that will provide assessments of needs conducted by licensed clinical social workers, intensive real-time case management delivered in the community through workshops and programming during non-traditional hours, and Navigators who will guide and connect individuals to needed resources. Emerging evidence shows that strong community outreach combined with intensive case management that meets the needs of individuals may reduce violence.
The program will serve 150 individuals and families over three years and assemble a Crisis Management Team providing support to the existing Baltimore City Safe Streets Violence Prevention sites located in Belair-Edison and McElderry Park. The Crisis Management Team will engage individuals and families who are victims or perpetrators of violence or have been identified as being at high-risk of being affected by violence by building out an individualized comprehensive crisis management plan and network of resources. The program will draw upon evidence-based practices and enhance the existing Safe Streets model with asset & resource mapping of the communities and additional staffing to connect individuals and resources.
Living Classrooms is honored to be a recipient of this grant award and to continue to work in collaboration with other entities in the community violence intervention ecosystem to measurably reduce shootings and homicides in East Baltimore.