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STRYVE Pilot Communities

Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC)

The Boston STRYVE effort is focused in the contiguous neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, and within these neighborhoods, on three low-income “micro-neighborhoods” that are part of the city’s multi-agency Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (VIP). VIP is an intervention and prevention strategy focused on increasing neighborhood capacity to prevent violence over the long term in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods. Through strong community mobilization techniques, VIP coalitions work to ensure residents have the knowledge and resources to drive sustained changes that influence violence where they live.

The four goals of the VIP initiative are to:

  1. Connect all middle school students to positive after-school and summer activities;
  2. Train residents to improve their structural surroundings and reduce the perception of chaos in their community by addressing the built environment;
  3. Promote health services, such as mental health, substance abuse, maternal and child home visits, lead abatement, and truancy programs for elementary school students, to improve health outcomes; and,
  4. Develop community-wide responses to violence, based upon the best available evidence, that reinforce the notion that violence is not acceptable.

The STRYVE Boston model builds on the work of the VIP, addressing challenges encountered in the VIP project, including sustaining resident engagement, involving more youth, and building a longer-term vision of where the work of community mobilization will lead. With training and technical assistance from the BPHC, teams of residents from each neighborhood are conducting outreach and collecting data from other neighborhood residents to create a vision for their neighborhood and a plan, based upon the best available evidence, for how to achieve that vision.

Houston Health Department

The Houston Health Department (HHD) serves as the public health agency for the fourth largest city in the U.S. STRYVE Houston will focus on creating a collective vision and prevention plan for five of its 88 super neighborhoods—Sunnyside, South Park, South Acres/Crestmont Park, Greater Old Spanish Trail (OST)/South Union and Minnetex—to change existing norms related to youth violence. These super neighborhoods comprise Houston Police Department District 14, a large contiguous area historically known for high incidences of juvenile overall and violent crime, high dropout rates and pockets of poor health indicators.

Houston has a history of engaging youth in the promotion of adolescent health. Over the past few years, Houston’s Healthy Houston Adolescent Initiative (HHAI), a group focused on youth development, has engaged youth as partners in conducting a survey to obtain information about youth assets and in creating “for youth–by youth” tools to impact health issues and to launch city-wide projects. STRYVE Houston will provide an infrastructure that advances the work of several existing adolescent health coalitions, strengthening their capacity to specifically examine and build strategies to impact youth violence.

Intended outcomes of the STRYVE project include:

    1. Increase the involvement of young people age 10–24 in the targeted communities through parks, schools, out of school organizations, apartment complexes, community college, employment programs and organizational partners;
    2. Develop and implement at least two comprehensive programs, based upon the best available evidence, as identified by the coalition;
    3. Coordinate data systems to measure community-level indicators associated with youth violence; and,
    4. Build the capacity of the health department to be a leader in youth violence prevention.

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Monterey County Health Department (CA)

The city of Salinas serves as the seat of Monterey County and is the largest city in the county, with a population of 142,841 residents (US Census, 2007–2009). While the target area is the larger city of Salinas, a neighborhood within Salinas that is of particular concern is the Alisal. The Alisal is an area of high gang activity, where many youth have poor school attendance, a high dropout rate, and a lack of after school programs and job prospects. These socio-economic problems extend into the entire city, resulting in unusually high rates of violent crime and homicides.

The primary objective of the STRYVE Project is to expand and enhance the prevention elements of the existing “Salinas Comprehensive Strategy for Community-wide Violence Reduction,” which contains a bold vision supported by ambitious goals that positively impact not only community violence, but seeks to create a healthier and safer community for all residents. The intent is to create a shift in the community’s thinking and norms that will lead to successful youth, healthy families and thriving neighborhoods. The plan incorporates stakeholder input to ensure that limited resources are effectively deployed to address unique risk and protective factors, among selected target populations, with strategies shown to be effective among a largely Mexican-American population.

The primary STRYVE goal in this area is to demonstrate a reduction on at least three selected risk factors for youth violence, based on the best available evidence.

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Multnomah County Health Department (OR)

The Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) is the local public health authority for all of Multnomah County, which includes the city of Portland, and is the largest local health department and safety net health care provider in Oregon. Portland STRYVE is focused in north-northeastern (N/NE) Portland, where the arrest rate for 10 to 24 year olds for violent crime, homicide, aggravated assault, and simple assault was 2,398 per 100,000 people in 2008, 1.7 times the countywide rate.

The Multnomah County Community Capacitation Center (CCC) is leading the implementation of the N/NE Portland STRYVE program, which builds on the work of the CCC’s Youth Violence Prevention Partnership (YVPP). YVPP aims to reduce violence affecting youth by building relationships between youth, law enforcement, and community based organizations. The foundation for the Portland STRYVE Coalition is the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council’s Youth & Gang Violence Steering Committee (Y&GVSC), a multi-agency group charged with reducing the disproportionate impact of youth and gang violence on communities of color. In partnership with the Y&GVSC, Portland STRYVE is using popular education methodology and the Community Health Worker model to involve a variety of communities in discussions about the causes and possible solutions for violence affecting youth.

These discussions will help to inform and achieve 4 objectives:

    1. Increase the Health Department’s capacity to contribute to youth violence prevention
    2. Identify, implement, and evaluate at least two concrete strategies based upon the best available evidence, for reducing violence affecting youth
    3. Streamline and coordinate the collection and dissemination of data regarding youth violence
    4. Sustain reductions of youth violence into the future

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