New York — Today, the New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the New York Senate for passing S580, legislation to provide critical funding for community-based violence intervention program by allowing for Medicaid reimbursement to be used for administering these critical programs to ensure survivors of violence and communities most impacted by violence have the support they need. Additionally, this bill will allow hospitals in partnership with community violence prevention programs to receive federal support to treat their patients’ immediate injuries and help prevent their future physical and mental harm by ensuring follow-up care.
“From career counseling to receiving medical assistance, community violence intervention programs are on the front lines meeting the daily needs of New Yorkers — we applaud the Senate for recognizing how critical these programs are by ensuring that they have sustainable funding to support communities most impacted by violence across the state,” said Pamela Hight, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. Pamela’s son Ya-Quin English, was shot and killed on Christmas Eve in 2013 and her other son, Jermaine Hight, was stabbed and killed on June 12, 2016. “This bill is critical to ensuring that there are community-driven wrap-around services to reduce cycles of violence, and we hope the Assembly will follow their lead.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs play a key role in making cities safer. Organizations like The Buffalo Peacemakers and LIFE Camp Inc have been working to prevent gun violence, often without the sustained resources they need. By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions.
In an average year in New York, 939 people die by guns and 1,991 people are wounded. Gun violence costs New York $11.4 billion each year, of which $301.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in New York is available here.