NJ Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs Need Funding or Face Shutdowns

The New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition will hold a news conference this coming Tuesday in Newark about Hospital-Based Violence Intervention programs in the state experiencing a funding crisis, as well as funding problems for Community-Based Violence Intervention programs.

Funding Needed Now for NJ Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs

Life-Saving Efforts are At Risk of Shutting Down

Demonstrates Need for Permanent Funding of Community-based Violence Intervention 

The New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition will be holding a news conference on August 2nd at 11:00 a.m. in Newark to call attention to the dire need for funds after the Attorney General’s Office (OAG) discontinued funding for Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs). 

Many member organizations of the NJ VIP Coalition, who are the community-based partners doing violence intervention work in communities hardest hit by gun violence, are facing an imminent gap in funding and are requesting the State immediately release $10 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for this purpose. In addition to gap funding for HVIPs, the NJ VIP Coalition will also call on the Governor to release an additional $80 million to fully fund Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) programs and HVIP’s through 2025.

“We are calling for immediate bridge funding using ARP dollars in addition to an additional $40 million to fund the community partners,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury, project director of the Paterson Healing Collective. “Our HVIP provides critical victim services for the community of Paterson. Shutting this program down will cause victims of violence to have nowhere to turn after a traumatic experience.”

“With the loss of this funding, intervention programs will have to lay off our teams and stop the life-saving work that prevents repeat and retaliatory violence,” said Daamin X Durden, Executive Director of the Newark Community Street Team. “We hope that ARP dollars can be used immediately to support community-based intervention work to prevent these shut downs.” 

At 12-Noon the same day, many NJ VIP member organizations will be providing testimony at the first of two public hearings hosted by Gov. Murphy’s office to advise on how ARP funds should be used. 

The news conference will take place August 2nd at 11:00 a.m. on the sidewalk outside 325 Norfolk Street in Newark in full view of both University Hospital and the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner. 

“We will literally be standing between the doorways of life or death for this news conference to drive home the point that community-based violence intervention programs can stop the violence, but must be funded immediately, as well as on a permanent basis,” said Dr. James Pruden of St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson.

Members of NJ VIP will be joined at the news conference by survivors of violence and other community stakeholders. 

The New Jersey Violence Intervention & Prevention (NJVIP) statewide coalition brings together frontline interventionists, prevention specialists, and national partners to advocate for and promote responses to violence to center the needs and wisdom of our communities. The NJVIP coalition works to build power, grow our resources, increase the capacity of organizations and individuals working to promote healing from trauma, reduce and prevent violence in our cities and state.