Cure Mon Valley
In 2022, SRCOG was awarded a contract with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to implement CURE Violence in four communities (Homestead, Duquesne, McKeesport, and Clairton). CURE Violence is an internationally tested model that treats the spread of violence like a disease and disrupts it through credible violence interrupters, prevents it by connecting those most at-risk to services via outreach workers, and changes community norms around violence. The program focuses on those at highest risk of victimization from or perpetration of gun violence, primarily older youth and young adults ages 15 through 34.
Cure Mon Valley uses paraprofessional health workers who are credible messengers and culturally sensitive. The approach involves examining violence clusters and transmission dynamics in order to stop transmission and alter societal norms surrounding the use of violence. This is achieved by employing locals who share the same life experiences as those who are most likely to conduct violent crimes. Staff members undergo comprehensive training in evidence-based mediation, persuasion, behavior change, and norm change techniques, all of which are crucial for preventing the development of violent outbreaks. They also receive training as community health workers.
Whenever a shooting occurs, trained professionals work right away in the neighborhood and in the hospital to calm people down and avoid retaliations. They collaborate with the victims, the victims’ friends and family, and anybody else who is connected to the incident.
Maintain "Cool" confrontations
Employees monitor confrontations for as long as necessary, sometimes for months, to make sure that they do not escalate to violence.
Mediate current problems
Workers determine current problems by speaking with influential members of the community about continuing disagreements, recent arrests, recent prison releases, and other circumstances. They then utilize mediation techniques to settle them amicably.
Identify high-risk individuals and improve their behavior
To lower the danger of individuals most prone to perpetrate violence and to advance health equity, trained outreach workers apply a culturally-appropriate and trauma-informed strategy. Outreach workers engage with those who are most at risk where they are, discussing the risks of using violence with them and assisting them in obtaining the social assistance they require, such as drug and employment training.