The VIP Initiative is an ongoing program of the Division of Violence Prevention at the Boston Public Health Commission. VIP works in 6 micro-neighborhoods averaging 900 households. The neighborhoods were selected because they have high rates of gun violence but strong community infrastructure. Each VIP neighborhood has its own resident coalition that is coordinated by a local community organization. VIP coalitions work to ensure that residents have the knowledge and resources they need to feel empowered to be part of the solution and create sustained change in their communities.
The VIP Initiative is a violence prevention strategy that seeks to reduce street violence in city neighborhoods through increased mobilization of community-based organizations and neighborhood residents, increased coordination of city agencies, and increased knowledge of city resources in those neighborhoods. Through this unique approach to violence prevention, VIP coalitions work to shift the expectation of violence and to address persistent social, environmental and structural issues that contribute to elevated levels of violent incidents.
The goal of the VIP Initiative is to strengthen the capacity of these neighborhoods to prevent violence over the long term through community engagement and action. Recognizing the strong social and structural factors that contribute to violence, the VIP Initiative works with residents, community leaders and organizations to accomplish the following goals and objectives:
- Each Resident-led VIP Neighborhood Coalition recognizes and promotes neighborhood assets as it determines needs and issues of the neighborhood.
- Children and youth are engaged in positive activities, developing leadership skills and taking leadership roles in the neighborhood.
- Residents have equitable access to resources necessary for physical and emotional wellness.
- The physical environment of the neighborhood encourages outdoor activity and social connection.
- When incidents of violence occur community members lead public actions that shift norms and expectations about violence and promote community building.
Information and Resources
VIP Neighborhood Coalitions