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Mayor Tom Barrett Announces Major Violence Prevention Grant

September 26, 2016

MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Health Department were joined by Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and other community leaders to announce the $5 million Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) grant that will advance the City’s efforts in improving public safety and creating stronger neighborhoods.

The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention was one of eight cities nationwide to be awarded this grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The City of Milwaukee Health Department applied for these funds in June of this year and is one of the largest grants the department has ever received.

Municipalities that have faced recent civil unrest were eligible to apply in order to assist high-risk youth and families, promote community resilience through engagement tactics and focusing resources on trauma-informed behavioral health services. Mayor Barrett and City of Milwaukee officials were proactive in obtaining resources to enhance public safety efforts.

“Our Office of Violence Prevention is addressing violence from both a public health and public safety perspective. These federal funds will assist the City in tackling challenges and creating opportunities,” Mayor Barrett said. “As the leader of this City, I am more committed than ever to promoting the policies and resources necessary to make Milwaukee a safer and healthier City for all residents.”

The ReCAST approach intends to strengthen the integration of behavioral health services and other community systems to address the needs of high-risk youth and families and to build the extent to which Milwaukee is resilient and trauma-informed.

“In tackling the root causes, not just the aftermath, of violence in our community, we must strengthen the good work already occurring in our city and work collaboratively across systems and agencies to identify new opportunities for support,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker. “This is the public health model in action.”

This effort will be guided by a community coalition coordinated with assistance from the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute. The coalition will involve residents and community-based organizations, in partnership with entities such as health and human services providers, schools, institutions of higher education, faith-based organizations, businesses, state and local government entities, law enforcement, and employment, housing, and transportation services agencies

“Violence is a significant source of trauma in our community. We must ensure that youth and families have access to appropriate opportunities and support while we work collectively to eliminate the root causes of violence and trauma in our city,” said Reggie Moore, director of the Office of Violence Prevention in the City of Milwaukee Health Department. “Working together, we can build a city of opportunity where toxic stress and trauma are the exception and not the rule.”

Other program elements will include offering trainings in trauma-informed approaches and providing peer support activities for high risk youth and families.

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