Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
“To safely re-open our city, we need to make sure New Yorkers have what they need to keep themselves and their neighbors safe,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday updated New Yorkers on steps the City is taking to encourage communities to follow social distancing guidelines and other precautions to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, 150 community ambassadors and violence interrupters from successful safety programs across the city are engaging the hardest-hit communities to educate residents about the importance of social distancing and to provide face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City will expand that outreach with 375 additional workers conducting social distancing education in these neighborhoods through September. The partnership will also include a public awareness campaign with equity-based messaging that addresses the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Social media and outdoor ads, printed materials and public service announcements will feature community voices from the hardest-hit neighborhoods.
“To safely re-open our city, we need to make sure New Yorkers have what they need to keep themselves and their neighbors safe,” de Blasio said. “Cure Violence will use the trust they’ve built with New Yorkers to help us save lives right in their neighborhoods and across the city.”
First Lady Chirlane McCray added, “Programs like Cure Violence have proven that community members are effective educators and agents of change. The City is grateful to the Cure Violence movement for stepping up during this critical time.”
The community ambassadors are part of the New York City Crisis Management System network of providers, which utilize the nationally recognized Cure Violence model, a neighborhood-based, public-health approach to violence reduction.
This work is supported by the administration’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity, which brings an equity-based approach to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in hardest hit communities and will remain involved in social distancing implementation in the weeks ahead, continuing to leverage community voices that inform ongoing engagement as well as long-term strategies that support both the health and safety of communities.
The CMS program, part of the Office of Neighborhood Safety in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, employ the nationally recognized Cure Violence model, a neighborhood-based, public-health approach to violence reduction. CMS works through its network of community-based outreach workers and violence interrupters in neighborhoods that are the most vulnerable to gun violence. Located in every borough, 20 CMS providers across 25 neighborhoods will engage local residents in these communities.
These workers use their personal relationships, social networks, and knowledge of their communities to help stop violence before it starts. They are joined in ONS by the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety, which works to put residents in 15 NYCHA housing developments at the center of realizing community safety as envisioned by the community itself. Now, CMS, alongside efforts spearheaded by MAP, will help to educate those same communities on the importance of practicing social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.