GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Three years after its introduction to the city of Greensboro, Cure Violence has seen success that it wants to continue in 2022, but a lot of that will rest on if more immediate resources become available.
Violence interrupters and outreach workers with the program have explained that they need more “boots on the ground” in specific parts of Greensboro.
“I know these people. They are unconditionally supportive, so we can try and get this violence down. But, for whatever reason, there are resources that they have that they neglect to give us,” Program Consultant Arthur Durham said.
Greensboro’s team of six full-time Cure Violence employees focused on reducing crime in the Smith Homes neighborhood and neighborhoods along the MLK corridor.
Violent crimes such as aggravated assaults and homicides have decreased in those areas over the past three years.
In the past six months, 63% of violent offenders Cure Violence has contacted have been connected with a job, 44% received educational support and 13% got housing assistance. More than 150 violent situations were de-escalated.
“[In 2020 Greensboro] had upwards of 60 homicides, but zero in the parts where Cure Violence was staffed and properly funded,” Durham said.
In 2022, he would like to see more immediate resources made available to his team to help individuals they meet through their canvassing. “
Violence interrupters have seen an uptick in conversations with gang members who want to get out of the dangerous lifestyle. However, they want to expand to other parts of the city but can only do so if they have more volunteers and help from full-time employees.
“Our turnover rate is roughly 30 percent,” Durham said. “However, those are for various reasons outside of Cure Violence.”
His staff cannot cure violence on their own and need help from other organizations and community members.
Cure Violence is expected to give a presentation to city leaders in January to outline how they will use the additional resources and people power if given.