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New DC Program Pairs People at Risk of Gun Violence to Support Teams

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DC is connecting around 200 residents identified as most at risk of being involved in gun violence — either as a perpetrator or victim — with interagency service teams led by cabinet members.

The initiative “People of Promise,” which aims at increasing safety in the District, was announced by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at His and Hers restaurant in Ward 5 on Monday, April 18.

Each one of the 200 residents selected by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) has been assigned a multidisciplinary team featuring a credible contact, a pathfinder, and a member of Bowser’s cabinet.  

“We know that a relatively small number of people are responsible for a significant amount of the gun violence happening in our communities. What we are doing is reaching out to those people, listening to them and figuring out what they need, and then working with them to get them on a better, safer path forward,” Bowser said.

In her speech, the mayor also referred to Paul Winestock, a DC native and owner of His and Hers restaurant who served 23 years in federal penitentiary and currently offers resident training and employment opportunities via his organization, Saving Our Next Generation. 

“We need community members like Paul, who have these lived experiences and who know how to create better and safer opportunities, working with us,” Bowser said about Winestock, who also leads programs for youth at Anacostia High School.

As part of the initiative, Bowser’s budget includes an investment of $1.7 million into about 20 life coaches for top-quality care coordination services. 

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