Seven Not-for-Profit Organizations Receive Grants to Continue Evidence-Based Approach Through SNUG Street Outreach Next Year in 2019
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $3.1 million to fund SNUG, New York's street outreach program, in seven communities across the state. The SNUG program aims to curb gun violence and save lives by intervening in the aftermath of shootings to prevent retaliation, working with high-risk youth to connect them to services and programs, and other community engagement initiatives. The funding will allow the program to continue next year in specific neighborhoods in Mt. Vernon, Rochester, the Bronx, Yonkers, Troy, Poughkeepsie and Buffalo.
"Too many families and communities have been devastated by gun violence in our country," Governor Cuomo said. "From enacting the strongest gun safety laws in the nation to supporting crucial programs like SNUG, New York State is taking decisive action to end the gun violence epidemic and we will not rest until gun related deaths stop once and for all."
"Through programs and services in communities across the state, New York is investing in efforts to combat gun violence and enhance quality of life for residents," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With strong gun safety measures and initiatives such as SNUG, we're committed to protecting New Yorkers and making sure children and families are safe."
Grant funding totaling approximately $1.6 million to support street outreach work in four other communities - Albany, Syracuse, Hempstead and Wyandanch - was announced earlier this year, along with other initiatives to address spikes in gun and gang violence in those communities.
New York State's investment to continue SNUG next year totals $4.78 million, which is approximately $220,000 more than funding provided in 2018. Administered by the State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the SNUG street outreach program has evolved since it began in 2009. It features a unique training curriculum, which was developed using best practices from other programs; provides additional technical assistance and guidance to sites at no cost; and integrates the use of crime analysis to guide its work.
In total, 11 not-for-profit organizations will share the grant funding and manage the SNUG program, which employs outreach workers who live in the communities where they work and have had similar experiences as the high-risk youth they aim to help. Viewed as credible messengers, they respond to shootings to prevent retaliation, help detect conflicts, and work to resolve them peacefully before they lead to additional violence. The outreach workers also engage the community through rallies and special events, and meet with high-risk youth involved with the program to set goals, connect them with assistance to improve their educational and job opportunities, and help them lead crime-free lives.
The following organizations will receive the grants announced today:
- Family Services of Westchester, Mt. Vernon: $290,500
- Action for a Better Community, Rochester: $543,700
- Jacobi Medical Center Auxiliary, Bronx: $626,500
- Yonkers YMCA, Yonkers: $355,820
- Trinity Alliance, Troy: $333,050
- Family Services Inc., Poughkeepsie: $305,100
- Back to Basics, Buffalo: $677,980
SNUG funding to these organizations have been announced previously:
- Trinity Alliance, Albany: $426,200
- Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility: $505,300
- Family and Children's Association, Hempstead: $386,050
- Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Wyandanch: $329,800
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, "Evidence-based programs like SNUG have helped make significant strides in improving public safety throughout the state. While we've seen an impressive decline in gun violence over recent years, there is still more work to be done, and this funding will allow our street outreach workers to continue this important work in some of the areas in our state that are hardest hit by violent crime."
National Network for Safe Communities Director David Kennedy said, “New York is rare among states with its continuing commitment to supporting evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence. The developing science of violence prevention shows very clearly that focused attention to the very small number of high-risk groups and individuals at high risk for serious violence can be very effective. We are proud to work with the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the cities that participate in its Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative, which provides resources, training and technical support to jurisdictions that complement the important work done by SNUG workers.”
This network of street outreach work has been a key component of the State's crime reduction strategy. As reported by the law enforcement agencies participating in the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, the number of shooting incidents decreased by 11 percent within the communities with SNUG programs through the first eleven months of 2018 compared to the prior year. Shooting incidents also are down compared to the five-year average. Firearm-related homicides in these jurisdictions were down 5 percent when compared to the five-year average. Ten of the 11 SNUG programs (excluding the Bronx) operate in communities targeted by GIVE, a crime-fighting program providing funding and technical assistance to law enforcement which is also administered by the Division of Criminal Justice Services.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the states DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state's Sex Offender Registry.