Peace for Change Alliance
_MEDIA EVENT INTRODUCING NEIGHBORHOOD AMBASSADORS SCHEDULED FOR
In a year where Milwaukee homicides have continued at a pace doubling recent years’, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and other community leaders will introduce an initiative aimed at curbing the violence through community-driven intervention.
The Safe Zone initiative will establish “safe zones” in four of the
city’s most troubled neighborhoods, where community leaders will be
available to intervene in potentially violent situations and counteract
the root causes of violence, like poverty and educational disparity.
Eleven community members have been hired and trained in crucial skills like conflict resolution, de-escalation, communication, community mapping and counter-human trafficking.
THESE “H.O.O.D. AMBASSADORS” (Helping Others Obtain Direction) WILL BE INTRODUCED DURING A NEWS CONFERENCE KICKING OFF THE INITIATIVE ON
THURSDAY, JULY 2, 11:00 A.M. AT 2601 W. PORT SUNLIGHT WAY.
Following the news conference, residents of the nearby Garden Homes Neighborhood will rally together for a neighborhood cleanup with the ambassadors.
“Sometimes, the most effective help has to come from within a troubled area,” Alderman Hamilton said. “The ambassadors who will work in the safe zones are people who are from these neighborhoods. They have a stake in turning them around, they know the people and they know what it means to struggle with poverty.”
Throughout the summer, “H.O.O.D. Ambassadors” will work in the safe zones Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1:00 to 11:00 p.m. Community members who are in need of their services can call (414) 551-7373 or (414) 554-4378.
The city-backed effort is made possible by a partnership with community leaders Khalil Coleman and Shawn Moore, as well as Muhammad Mosque #3, New Hope Baptist Church, Northwest Side Community Development Corp., the Garden Homes Neighborhood Association, Peace for Change Alliance, True Strength Group Milwaukee, We Got This, I Will Not Die Young campaign, Crossing Jordan Ministries, Alpha and Omega Ministries, the Coalition of Hope and the Universal Companies.
Mr. Coleman, Mr. Moore, and their partners have designed an approach that is similar to the Interrupters model that has worked in other cities. Safe zones will be located in each of the four “Promise Zones” designated under Alderman Hamilton’s “Milwaukee Promise”
legislation–Division/Harambee, Washington Park, Greater Old North
Milwaukee and the Near South Side.
“With the support of our neighborhoods, our faith community and our
dedicated corps of ambassadors, and working together with police and
city officials, it is my hope that we can begin to steer would-be
offenders away from the path to violence and despair,” Alderman Hamilton said. “Eradicating violence is a big job, and it will take no less than a total commitment from each member of our community. I challenge every one of our neighbors to get engaged with this critical effort.”
Additionally, neighbors in the area of Garden Homes Square plan to
celebrate the initiative’s launch with a block party on Saturday, July
4th from noon to 5:00 p.m. The event will include food, fun for
children, neighborhood resources and more.
In the first three months of 2015, Milwaukee has already racked up 28 homicides. At this time last year, the city had tallied 11 homicides.
ALDERMAN ASHANTI HAMILTON said the neighborhoods experiencing the intense level of violence and criminal activity this year are also the same neighborhoods plagued by foreclosures, high unemployment, failing schools and general disorder.
“The Milwaukee Police Department has been working hard to fight crime throughout the city, but as we all know, they cannot do it alone,” Alderman Hamilton said. “MPD has repeatedly called on community members to take a more active role in stabilizing their neighborhoods, and in our most challenged areas, unfortunately there are few residents willing to answer that call.”
In an effort to change that, Alderman Hamilton is working with Khalil Coleman, Shawn Moore, Muhammad Mosque #3, New Hope Baptist Church, Northwest Side Community Development Corp., the Garden Homes
Neighborhood Association, Peace for Change Alliance, True Strength Group Milwaukee, We Got This, I Will Not Die Young campaign, Crossing Jordan Ministries, Alpha and Omega Ministries, the Coalition of Hope and the
Universal Companies to build a coalition to address the void in what he calls “our community organizing strategy.”
Mr. Coleman, Mr. Moore, and their partners have designed an approach that is similar to the Interrupters model that has worked in other cities called H.O.O.D. Ambassadors (Helping Others Obtain Direction). H.O.O.D. will operate the Safe Zones across certain neighborhoods where crime, violence and disorder are prevalent, the alderman said.
Alderman Hamilton will be joined by members of the coalition and others during a special MEDIA EVENT TOMORROW (FRIDAY, MARCH 20) AT 5 P.M. AT GARDEN HOMES PARK, N. 26TH ST. AND ATKINSON AVE.
“We are proactively inviting the media and others out so we can provide additional information about the initiative and the type of neighborhoods that can benefit from this effort,” Alderman Hamilton said.