What is VIP?
The Violence Intervention & Prevention (VIP) Initiative prevents violence and promotes healthy neighborhoods in the City of Boston through active and genuine collaboration between youth, residents, community organizations, and city agencies. The greatest opportunity offered by VIP is to become engaged with a neighborhood coalition to end violence by addressing the various issues that lead to violence. VIP believes that residents are change agents in their neighborhoods and a key factor in transforming their neighborhoods to thriving, peaceful environments. Through a process of community meetings, activities, outreach and planning; residents become connected with each other, decrease social isolation and shift the perception of violence where they live.
The Mattapan Community Health Center VIP Coalition Meetings consists of the Community Residents/Partners, VIP Coordinator/Block Captains, and Community Police Officers. VIP Coalitions seek to empower, inform and strengthen capacity building. In addition, coalitions also mobilize neighborhoods to respond in an event of violence that has taken place in the neighborhood. The topics during these meetings that are discussed are as followed:
- Youth Afterschool, Summer and Employment Opportunities
- Community Disorder e.g abandon cars lighting issues etc.
- Health and Wellness Services
- Public Safety
- Neighborhood Responses to Violence
“Our Mattapan" Campaign
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and support from the Mattapan Community Health Center, Boston Police Department, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families, produced the "Our Mattapan. Many Pasts. One Future." violence prevention campaign. Through a series of meeting over a year's time frame, a group of Mattapan Residents and community members involved with BPHC's Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) coalition in Mattapan worked as part of a Design Team to create the concept behind the campaign’s message. Additionally, several focus groups were held with teens, and Mattapan residents to further inform the campaigns’ concept. The campaign empowered Mattapan residents to tell their own stories and to share their thoughts on building an even stronger Mattapan by discouraging gun violence and by breaking stereotypes that sometimes define the neighborhood. The personal stories featured in "Our Mattapan" aim to illustrate the true impact of violence on a community in a way that encourages more people to get involved in violence prevention work. For more information about this campaign and how you can get involved in the Mattapan VIP coalition please contact Debby Rios, Mattapan VIP Coordinator at 617-322-8034.
VIP Coalition Meetings take place the last Thursday of every month at the Mattapan Community Health Center, from 6-7:30 p.m at 1575 Blue Hill Avenue. Please call ahead of the meeting for complete details on meeting agendas.
Mattapan United ABCD Family Services holds neighborhood meetings the every first Thursday of every month. For more information, please call Karleen Porcena at (617) 298-2045.
You can help prevent violence and improve your neighborhood by following some of these helpful tips:
- Know your neighbors. Neighbors that know each other also look out for each other and have a sense of when something looks out of the ordinary. This can help increase safety in your neighborhood.
- Help connect young people in your neighborhood to resources: Numerous studies find that after-school programs can keep young people safe, and help steer them away from negative and unsafe behaviors.
- Beautify your neighborhood: Having a clean neighborhood can actually have an impact on preventing crime. It helps to reduce the perception of the neighborhood being neglected and raise the awareness of crime not being acceptable in the neighborhood.
- Call the City of Boston’s Mayor’s 24 Hour Constituent Service (617-635-4500): Make your city work for you! The Mayor’s 24 Hour Constituent line can help address a wide array of issues in your neighborhood including but not limited to potholes, street light outages, snow removal, trash removal, problem properties, etc.
- Call for help: If you know anything about a crime that has happened or a crime that could happen, call CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department is interested only in your information, not your identity. Your tip is 100% anonymous.
- Get mobilized, and get connected with your local coalitions: There are many ways you can get involved in your community and connect with resources. Community mobilization can enhance your ability to have influence and control over your environment.
Please contact your local VIP Coordinator to find out how you can get involved and get connected.
- Debby Rios, Mattapan VIP Coordinator 617-322-8034
- Marcus Lewis, Bowdoin Geneva VIP Coordinator 617-754-0023
- Gloria West, Grove Hall VIP Coordinator 617-541-5454 ext. 101
- Lavell Fulks, Orchard Gardens/Madison Park Village VIP Coordinator 617-849-6227
- Jose Cardoso, Upham’s Corner VIP Coordinator 617-287-8349
This page was last updated January 2020