Associated Press is reporting that a number of Cure Violence supported programs in Chicago have been shutdown.
Cure Violence was in Tallahassee last week holding meetings to promote an community based approach that reduces gun violence. The program costs approximately $350,000 a year, with $75,000 going to Cure Violence.
The problems detailed in the AP report highlight both financial and operational issues with the CeaseFire program which is overseen by Cure Violence.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opted not to renew a one-year, $1 million contract for CeaseFire programs in two neighborhoods. The decision followed criticism by Chicago police that CeaseFire staff weren’t sharing information or working closely enough with them. Some program members also were getting into trouble of their own.
AP reported that more than 12 programs have shut down in Chicago and in other Illinois communities.
In addition, a proposal has been made by the Governor of Illinois to cut $3 million in state funding from the programs to help balance the state budget.
Advocates argue the programs work and need to be funded.
“Our kids in our communities are still dying,” said Autry Phillips, executive director of Target Area Development, a nonprofit agency on Chicago’s South Side that had to end its CeaseFire program. “We’re going to do what we can do, but we need funding. That’s the bottom line.”