A group of new peacemakers will hit the streets of Indianapolis next week in an effort to reduce violence.
The city hired 35 new peacemakers using federal relief money. The job is a key part of a $150 million violence reduction plan.
There will be 15 more peacemakers hired, for a total of 50, a significant increase from the few employed by the Office of Public Health and Safety last year. In a written statement Mayor Hogsett said that growth is significant.
“This announcement represents a dramatic increase in the number of team members out on the street reducing violence, connecting with at-risk residents to guide them towards a better path.
Based in grassroots work, peacemakers may be employed as interrupters, life coaches or outreach workers. Daniel Mallory is one of the new life coaches and said they come alongside people at risk of violence.
“If we can get them job readiness skills, financial literacy skills and some kind of foundational skills, you know, like dress for success and cognitive thinking,” Mallory said.
The peacemakers will work collectively in communities to identify and stop conflict, assess risk factors and then connect with services.
Mallory said life coaches will work with people for up to 18 months. “Intensively engage with these individuals to draw up a life plan for them,” he said.
Indianapolis is experiencing record levels of homicides and nonfatal shootings.
OPHS partnered with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and the Indy Public Safety Foundation on the violence reduction strategy.