Programs across the state that work to reduce gun violence on the streets are eligible to receive grants they can use to enhance their programs.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The state is tackling gun violence with the new Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention.
Its goal is to reduce community gun violence and expand organizations that are already doing grassroots work in local neighborhoods.
“It gives a street-level view of what’s going on,” commissioner Leonard Jahad said.
Not only was Jahad selected to sit alongside public health experts on the commission, but he is also the executive director of the New Haven-based Connecticut Violence and Intervention Program.
RELATED: In the new gun law, a quiet breakthrough for victims of abuse
“We handle cases, we build relationships through introductions. When someone gets shot, we’re in the hospital. We’re 24 hours a day,” Jahad said.
The program focuses on mentoring at-risk youth between the ages of 13 and 24 who are either involved in violence or victims of gun violence.
“We forge relationships, we maintain them, we are brave, we keep our finger on the pulse of the community,” Jahad said.
Organizations like his are eligible for state grants to help the newly formed commission to reduce gun violence.
Sign up for FOX61 newsletters: Morning forecast, morning headlines, evening headlines
The New Haven program mediates conflict in city neighborhoods and works with victims of violence seeking revenge, working to make city streets safer.
“We go into schools and into communities and build those relationships and show them that there are opportunities outside of the streets,” said Alivia Langley, Connecticut Violence Intervention Program Manager.
These opportunities show young people a path to success in helping to target the root causes of community violence.
“We have a goal. Everyone we meet, we have a goal to help them make positive choices and improve their behavior,” Langley said.
RELATED: Police ask those involved in the New Haven midday shooting to ‘not fight back’
With eight homicides in the city of New Haven this year, they are teaching young people the importance of choices that can help save lives.
“Nothing impacts the community like hearing a gunshot or having a family member or friend be the victim of a shooting or homicide,” Jahad said.
As both a commission member and a community organizer, Jahad said he could bring different perspectives to the commission.
The hope is that everyone from different backgrounds can work together on the panel to help reduce gun violence in Connecticut.
Organizations chosen to receive the grants can expand the work they do to prevent conflict in the streets.
Do you have a story idea or something in mind that you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]
HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS
Download the FOX61 News app
iTunes: Click on here To download
Google Play: Click on here To download
Stream live on ROKU: Add the string from ROKU Store or by searching FOX61.
Steam live on TV FIRE: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.