More about ONS Strategic Initiatives

The City of Richmond Police Department estimates that there are a total of approximately 20 gangs in the City of Richmond.

The City of Richmond Police Department estimates that there are between 500-1000 gang members in the City of Richmond.

The City of Richmond Police Department Reports that gun fire and fire-arm related crime occur almost daily in the City of Richmond.

The City of Richmond Police Department reports that someone is shot in the City of Richmond almost weekly.

The City of Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety (“ONS”) provides and coordinates targeted intervention services to and on behalf of those identified as most likely to be perpetrators and/or victims of gun violence (“the ONS population”). A priority objective of the ONS is to ensure a greater accessibility and connectivity to culturally competent human, social and economic service opportunities (real alternatives to gun violence) for those who perpetrate gun violence. Our mission is to eliminate gun violence in Richmond.

The ONS provides advocacy and raises resources on behalf of this population in the following ways: 

        (a) Program Development and Implementation (increasing programs and service(s) opportunities); 
        (b) Capacity Building (strengthening the city’s ability to provide culturally competent - comprehensive [real]
             alternatives to gun violence); and 
        (c) Service Coordination (focus, organization and communication);

Office of Neighborhood Safety Initiatives

Street and School Based Outreach Resource Strategy
The Office of Neighborhood Safety with the assistance of local, regional and state law enforcement personnel have identified 100-150 individuals that are believed to be actively involved in shootings and killings experienced in the City of Richmond. Many of these individuals are currently walking the streets of Richmond, some currently incarcerated, while others will soon return home to Richmond.
The City of Richmond Street and school-based Outreach Resource Strategy is the first program initiative of the City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) implemented in April 2008. This is a relational, non-enforcement based strategy dedicated to assisting and connecting these individuals and their families to culturally competent human, social and economic service opportunities.

ONS Peacekeeper Program
The Office of Neighborhood Safety has identified 9 community residents that serve as ONS Peacekeepers. These individuals help the ONS in facilitated peace keeping activities such as school-based intervention services, parole and probation support, street outreach support, parent support, and Neighborhood and resident support. Each of the peace keepers is provided a monthly stipend to assist their work and its coordination with the ONS.

Richmond Community Wellness Collaborative (RCWC) and the California Gang Reduction and Intervention Program
The RCWC is a collective effort that provides advocacy, service coordination, and capacity building opportunities on behalf of those most likely to be confronted by gun violence. With the City’s Employment and Training department, community based organizations that include Neighborhood House of North Richmond, Richmond Police Activities League, The Williams Group, Opportunity West, North Richmond Young Adult Empowerment Center, and the Community Based Employment Collaborative, the Office of Neighborhood Safety provides leadership and convenes the RCWC in ongoing efforts to promote the education, health, well-being and economic viability of our city’s most vulnerable children, youth and families. Partnering agencies also include city and county elected officials and departments, state agencies, philanthropic entities, and private citizens.

Life Skills for Peace
The Office of Neighborhood Safety facilitates Life Skills opportunities for extremely difficult to serve youth and young adults between the ages of 14-25 most at-risk for being involved with and/or directly impacted by gun violence in the City of Richmond. LS4P also works with students facing suspensions for violence, youth on probation for violence and youth detained, but not arrested by local police. LS4P provides a peer facilitated (in that the facilitators have similar life experiences, rather than being the same age) transformative group mentoring dynamic designed to create an environment that teaches and provides opportunities for pro-social behavior through positive peer role modeling, healthy problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management, character development, and life skills training with the intent of fostering resilience to the risk factors associated with violence.

Beyond Violence Initiative (More about BVI)
The Beyond Violence Initiative is a hospital-based peer intervention program that places trained Intervention Specialists who have overcome violence in their own lives to work with youth and young adults between the ages of 14-25 who are recovering from fire arm related injuries at the John Muir Trauma Center. These trained Intervention Specialists offer long-term case coordination, linkages to community services, home visits, and follow-up assistance. The purpose is to promote positive alternatives to violence and to reduce retaliation, re-injury, and arrest.

County-Wide Prison Reentry Planning Initiative
Currently there is no comprehensive or coordinated response to the increasing number of people who are released from prison or jail and returning to the City of Richmond and county community as a whole. The Countywide Reentry Planning Initiative is designed to create a coherent strategy that will help the City of Richmond to reduce recidivism among its formerly incarcerated population, improve the health status of those coming home and therefore the communities they return to, and increase public safety.

The plan will include a detailed implementation schedule as well as extensive evidence of collaboration with key public and private stakeholders. It will also provide a comprehensive and coordinated countywide strategy for providing effective services to the formerly incarcerated; provide policy, services and funding recommendations that will benefit Richmond and Contra Costa County’s reentry population, their families and neighborhoods; provide current data and information on best practices and tools that inform policy makers, service providers, law enforcement and the general public about reentry in Richmond and Contra Costa County; ensure that a countywide collaborative is in place, is active and prepared to address reentry related issues as they arise; and facilitate collaboration, cooperation, and coordination between Contra Costa County reentry programs, initiatives, service providers and other community stakeholders.

Ground Zero Summer Community Initiative (GZI)
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), together with several faith-based organizations, works to increase our collective abilities to reach and identify services for vulnerable children, youth and families in the City’s most vulnerable neighborhoods and communities. This collective effort is part of the ONS Ground Zero Initiative (GZI).

Ground Zero is a grass roots movement that provides immediate help to communities in Richmond where gun violence is prevalent. With an initial outreach into a targeted area, ONS staff, local pastors and volunteers ask residents to identify and voice their neighborhood’s resource needs. The information is then collected and organized, and follow-up telephone calls are made to advise residents where the requested resources can be found in local nearby churches. There are currently more than 164 registered churches in the City of Richmond. These churches can be viable resource outlets for vulnerable individuals and communities. While providing targeted outreach in these neighborhoods, to those most likely to be involved with and/or confronted by gun violence, relationship building occurs, and an offer of care and support is provided.

Each Ground Zero event concludes with a community block party. These include live music, free food, and jumpers for the kids.

Greater Richmond Community Reintegration Planning Initiative
The mission of the Greater Richmond Community Re-Integration Collaborative is to support, strengthen, and engage a community of providers, businesses, and advocates who work with and on behalf of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, and social networks. The Collaborative pays attention to individuals’ mind, body, and spirit through services that are provided along a continuum of re-integration that begins at adjudication and continues throughout the individual’s life, post release. Providers, community members, and advocates seek direction and input from the formerly incarcerated, and coordinate communication networks, data, policies, and organizational supports to ensure appropriate services are provided.

ONS Operation Peacemaker Fellowship
The primary purpose of the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) Operation Peace Maker Fellowship is to save lives. The goal of the fellowship is to create a viable space for selected individuals ages 16-25 to contribute in a real way to building and sustaining community peace, and community health and well-being, with the express purpose of eliminating gun violence in Richmond, California.
This Fellowship opportunity is a deliberate and intentional service provision and assistance plan to a group of young adults who are traditionally isolated from social, educational, social service and economic development prospects.
The Fellowship is an opportunity of support for those who have been identified to have exceptional leadership potential and extraordinary promise for significant healthy accomplishment, but are very isolated from positive developmental opportunities. The Fellowship is designed to expose and provide recipients with considerable opportunity for personal, social, educational and vocational growth and development. ONS works to assist each Fellow focus on building skills, credentials, experiences, degrees, and networks in an effort to enhance the future economic opportunity of the Fellow.
Operation Peacemaker Fellows are individuals highly motivated to changing their lives, to work towards and dedicate themselves to participating in all activities assigned by their life management team. Operation Peacemaker Fellows are committed to promoting and advancing peace, non-violence and healthy resolutions to conflict primarily in the neighborhoods that they represent and secondarily between and amongst those in other neighborhoods. Operation Peacemaker Fellows work to increase their understanding and effectiveness in behaving and promoting greater peace creation, community well-being and public safety city-wide. Operation Peacemaker Fellows are Leaders who are committed to promoting Life, and work to achieve and share successful, healthy and positive Life-styles.

Alive & Free Omega Training Institutes
At the heart of the Alive & Free Prescription is the notion that violence is a social disease with an explicit treatment process. The disease is transmitted by the germs of bad information, bad instruction, bad advice, and bad example that to young people appear to be good. Youth are exposed to these germs via their families, peers and neighborhoods; and through music, television, video games, and movies. The disease appears as techniques for survival when, in fact, the opposite is true. Infected youth do not survive, they only learn how to die or go to prison. The Alive & Free Prescription works to change beliefs, attitudes, values and actions that promote violence. By adopting the Alive & Free Prescription and rolling out workshops to local service providers and training them to use the curriculum, Richmond is moving in a direction where youth will hear the same message wherever they are served in the city and be held to the same behavior expectations across all youth serving agencies.

The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) in partnership with Omega Boys Club (Omega) will launch Alive & Free Richmond - a multi-media education and training campaign focused on using urban media and training local practitioners as one of several immediate implementation strategies outlined in the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Promoting a strong anti-violence message, Alive & Free Richmond is designed to: 

        1) Communicate and promote a strong anti-violence message. 
        2) Inspire individual behavior change; promote peace and healthy living which reduces the risky behaviors that often
            contribute to homicide or other violent crimes. 
        3) Educate youth and young adults, their families and entire communities about supporting youth and young adults
            to stay alive and free.