New York City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) today announced the virtual launch of the Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program (AGVEP), offering employment and enrichment opportunities to approximately 700 young people.
Starting July 13, 2020, AGVEP will employ New Yorkers between the ages 14 and 24 living in neighborhoods and NYCHA housing developments most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will engage in 10 to 15 hours of activities for a 6-week period, with the potential to earn a stipend of $850 to $1,200.
ONS, which is part of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), oversees the Office to Prevent Gun Violence (OPGV) and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP). Both teams will help guide participants through enrichment activities held virtually and in socially distanced in-person settings with local organizations in their communities.
With an infusion of support from the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), ONS developed a network of virtual programming organizations that will offer training in youth leadership and organizing, career readiness, financial empowerment, web development and coding, urban planning, music and film production, civic engagement, and more.
AGVEP is a year-round employment program that increases employment opportunities for participants who may be at risk of being victimized or perpetrating violence. First launched in 2016 by MOCJ and the New York City Council, it is currently budgeted at $1.5 million with funding from both the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. Participants work at community-based organizations engaged in positive activities to cultivate self-efficacy and leadership skills designed to contribute to their social, educational, and professional growth.
“The most powerful route to safety is to provide meaningful opportunity to New Yorkers. The Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program, with its proven track record, does just that with youth who play a vital role in our neighborhoods,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “These investments are even more important at this juncture in our city’s history as we turn more and more to a community-first approach to safety.”
“The youth in our communities are our future innovators and leaders — we have to invest in them today,” said MOCJ Deputy Director Eric Cumberbatch, who leads ONS. “The Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program is another crucial way in which the City is creating opportunity for our young people, especially at this incredibly important moment where we are redefining what safety and well-being mean for our communities.”
“Empowering communities — and young people in particular — should be the foundation of all justice reforms,” said Young Men’s Initiative Executive Director Jordan Stockdale. “YMI is proud to support the Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program, which provides engaging learning opportunities and meaningful stipends to our future leaders. We commend the civil servants at ONS for their hard work to ensure our youth have more enrichment opportunities this summer.”
Launched in December 2019, ONS was created to improve the sharing of resources and access to holistic assistance to New Yorkers affected by violence. The Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety organizes residents, multiple city agencies, and numerous community-based organizations in 15 NYCHA developments into an effective neighborhood-based, problem-solving effort. The Office to Prevent Gun Violence works through multiple programs, including the Crisis Management System, to coordinate and amplify the work of a network of community-based non-profits across 22 precincts in the city.
For questions about AGVEP, interested applicants can email OPGV@cityhall.nyc.gov for more information.