May 2021 Newsletter

Louisville Skyline, Muhammad Ali

May 2021 Newsletter

The FY22 budget season kicked off last month, and Metro Council has already begun holding meetings with each Metro Government agency. This year, The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods has requested funding to launch three evidence-based initiatives that utilize alternatives to traditional public safety.   The interventions aim to address violence from a holistic, community-centered approach to help prevent violence before it occurs.  To learn more about OSHN's budget request and to see how you can advocate for these changes, click here.

OSHN Spotlight: Pivot to Peace's Hospital Violence Intervention Program

The Office for Safe and Heathy Neighborhoods partners with multiple innovative programs. Our monthly OSHN spotlight aims to inform about initiatives across our city that are making a difference.

Pivot to Peace Logo

The aftermath of an incident of gunshot or stabbing violence can be one of the most traumatic and life-changing events imaginable. After seeing multiple repeat victims of violence, over 30 hospitals around the country have realized their part in providing care to a patient beyond their physical wounds.  Pivot to Peace does this by bringing together unique wraparound services to provide healing and support during this time of grief. 

Since 2016, the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods has partnered with the University of Louisville Hospital and Peace Education to address interpersonal gun violence.  Through this unique partnership, gunshot and stabbing victims in Jefferson County can be provided case management services to identify and address risk factors for violence.  Participants, alongside their family and friends, also have the opportunity to receive 20 hours of training in nonviolent conflict resolution. By establishing protective factors that meet client-identified goals regarding education, employment, and mental health, Pivot to Peace has been successful at reducing injury recidivism for 96% of its participants.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Ambassador Institute

One Love Louisville Violence Prevention Training

Turn your passion into action and learn the tools needed to make a difference in your community! Our next Ambassador Institute will be held on June 26, 2021. To adapt to the virtual platform, we have shortened the training.

Training will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will be trained in Mental Health 101, Suicide Prevention, Community Organizing, Conflict Resolution, and the Public Health Approach to Violence. Training will be led by experts from Seven Counties, the Kent School of Social Work, the Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, and more!

If you have ever wanted to join an institute, doing so is much easier! Register for the event below.

Register HERE
Youth Mental Health

Addressing Youth Mental Health

Join CSYA on Thursday, June 10 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. as they discuss strategy and best practices in addressing mental health challenges faced by young people in our community. This conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Steven D. Kniffley Jr., PsyD MPA ABPP, Associate Director for the Center for Behavioral Health and an Assistant Professor in Spalding University’s School of Professional Psychology.  Other CSYA's Webinar Series events incude:

Register Here.

Virtual Learning

With limited trainings and in-person gatherings, here are some interesting learning opportunities to continue to grow and develop our collective understanding of violence.

Solutions for Interrupting the Cycle fo Violence

While cities across the country grapple with making adjustments to our growing understanding of violence, Mayor Fischer, as president of the US Conference of Mayors, held a two-day 'Re-imagining Public Safety' virtual summit.  The summit featured mayors across the country discussing innovative solutions that take into account the root causes of violence. Elected officials and violence prevention experts also urged President Biden to sign bipartisan background checks and police reform legislation to ensure their local efforts can be more effective and sustainable.  Watch the summit here.

Cities United Offers 15 Innovative Solutions to Prevent Violence

Within the last decade, our understanding of violence as a public health issue has expanded rapidly.  Despite this, our approach towards public safety has evolved far less.  Public safety seldom takes into account the environment in which crime occurs as well as the risk and protective factors surrounding the community it lives in.  In response to this, interventions are much more likely to be reactive than proactive. Cities United features 15 solutions for interrupting the cycle of violence and reimagining our approach toward public safety.  Cities United features a holistic approach that includes prevention, intervention, and enforcement with real-world examples, including several program highlights in Louisville.  Read it here.

4th Street

FREE Monthly QPR Trainings 

Commemorate National Mental Health Awareness Month by participating in FREE QPR trainings.  Question, Persuade, Refer are three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.  Join the Louisville Health Advisory Board and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in reaching their goal of 1,500 new Jefferson County residents trained in the QPR model.  Sign up for the free, monthly training here.

Community Board

Take a look at some of the latest news, resources, and events in the community.  Keep your community informed by sharing these with family, friends, and neighbors.

Louisville Youth Network

The Louisville Youth Network is Live

The Louisville Youth Network (LYN) is now live!  Through a collaboration between the Office of Youth Development, CSYA, Goodwill Industries, Louisville Urban League, and YouthBuild Louisville, the LYN is ready to act as a free, one-stop shop for Louisville youth aged 16-24.  While the network is catered for youth who are not in school or working, any young adult who needs support can benefit.  Some of the resources include education, workforce development, childcare, food assistance, mental health supports, and more.  Access the network by visiting or calling 502.230.2028

COVID-19 Relief for Internet Bills

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is part of the federal government's emergency COVID-19 response. It provides a direct payment  for internet bills of up to $50 (or $75 on Tribal Lands) per month for eligible households. The program will last for several months until the $3.2 billion fund runs out. See if you are eligible here.

EBB Assistance

Jobcorps Seeking to Bolster Caseloads

The past year has exacerbated  the need for housing and education supports, and Jobcorps is ready to meet demand. The Whitney M. Young Center can provide free housing and education supports for young adults aged 16-24 looking to expand their education including earning their high school diploma, GED, or attending community college classes.  Additionally, Jobcorps offers training in several competitive trades including manufacturing, construction, culinary arts, hospitality, and more. While their housing supports are often a much-needed resource, it is not a requirement and participants are welcome to commute to the center daily.   For more info about Jobcorps, or to begin the admissions process, contact

Whitney M. Jobcorps
Little Free Pantry

Little Free Pantry Project

The Ambassador Workgroup has been meeting regularly for almost a year to discuss ways to implement violence prevention strategies in their own community.  The workgroup's most recent project involved tackling food scarcity with the installation of three Little Free Pantries around town.  The Little Free Pantries are a spin on the Little Free Library concept, but provides canned goods, nonperishable foods, and hygiene items that can be accessed easily and discretely for anybody in need.  The goal is for nearby residents to both be able to share their excess resources as well as take when needed. As an added bonus, the pantries were constructed using up-cycled plywood taken from downtown business windows.  See how this project came to life in this short video from Metro TV here.

The Ambassador Workgroup meets on the first Thursday of every month.  If you are interested in joining an upcoming meeting, please contact  Or, to suggest a new project for the workgroup to tackle, complete the Project Proposal Form here.

Summer Camp Opportunities Available

May 27th marked the last day of school for JCPS, but there are still plenty of learning opportunities this summer.  See below for a few upcoming camps for children and youth of all ages.

  • Summerbridge - A free, 6-week summer academic program for underserved middle school students in JCPS 
  • Portland Art Camp - An affordable, two-week camp for middle school youth aged 11-14 taught by working artists in music, filmmaking, creative writing, and dance.  
  • KMAC Museum - Children aged 7-11 can pick from a variety of one-week courses ranging from sculpture to storytelling.
  • Camp Shakespeare - A two-week camp for ages 5-18 to explore the theatre arts through imaginative play, visual arts, movement, storytelling, language, and more!
  • Camp Walden - Pick from nearly 20 courses at this six-week summer program offered to students pre-K through 8th grade.
  • Louisville Visual Art - LVA offers a range of week-long creative workshops for  youth 7-14.
  • Summerworks - There is still time to sign up for Summerworks.  Working-age youth, 16-21 are eligible to receive a summer job that provides work experience and job readiness training.

News and Announcements

War and Peace Quote

Spoken Word Competition WINNER: Savannah Jones

Last month, we asked for your best Spoken Word Poetry submissions, and now we have selected a winner! Savannah Jones was selected for her outstanding representation of this year's theme, War and Peace. Members of the Mayor's Youth Implementation Team chose the theme for this year's competition that took place to commemorate National Youth Violence Prevention Week.  While this theme may mean something different to everyone, to many youth these two contrasting words represent the seemingly dichotomous worlds they have to navigate on a daily basis.  While this concept seems difficult to illustrate, Savannah Jones' take on it seemed to be right on the mark.

Savannah is from Greensboro, North Carolina, but she has been living in Louisville since 2011.  She currently works as an Empowerment Navigator with the Louisville Urban League connecting clients to community resources.  According to Savannah, violence is something personal to her that she has witnessed from an early age in North Carolina and again when she moved to Kentucky.  Savannah said she is passionate about violence prevention because she knows how easy it is to make one bad mistake that's with you for life.  "Many people, especially our youth, are out here fighting and dying but for unworthy reasons," Savannah said.  "I want our youth to think before they react and start fighting for things that will bring them peace."

See Savannah's Spoken Word Entry Here.

OSHN Joins the Cities United Reimagining Peace Challenge

The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN) announced today it is participating in the first-ever Reimagining Peace Challenge launched by Cities United, a national network of mayors committed to reducing the epidemic of homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys.

In their mission to reduce homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys ages 14 to 24 by 50 percent by 2025, Cities United has identified a crisis response system that cities can co-lead with community partners to reduce violence and promote peace. The Cities United Reimagining Peace Challenge, which will run for 12 months beginning in April 2021, includes 10 cities: Louisville, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Denver, Houston, Manor (TX), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Richmond (VA).

As part of the challenge, cities and their identified community partner will develop and implement a coordinated crisis response system alongside their Peace Challenge peers. Each participating city will receive training and technical assistance from experts who specialize in violence interruption and street outreach, stakeholder coordination, victim services and violence prevention awareness communication and marketing. Participating cities will partner with a local community-based organization specializing in violence interruption and street outreach in each respective community and be eligible for a mini-grant up to $5,000.

Read the full story here.

OSHN Director outlines whole-of-government approach to Metro Council

Dr. Monique Williams, director of the city’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN), spoke on May 17 to Metro Council, outlining many of the ways that Mayor Greg Fischer’s FY22 budget would enhance the Department’s role in helping create a safer Louisville.  

Mayor Fischer’s proposed FY22 budget would invest $4.5 million in OSHN to advance his whole-of-government approach to violence reduction. This investment includes expansion of the Pivot to Peace initiative – evidence-based gun violence reduction strategies, including the existing hospital-based partnership, as well as an outreach system, clergy response team, and supports for the Gun Violence Intervention program.  With the hospital-based initiative alone, the city has reduced injury recidivism among participants by 95 percent.

“Mayor Fischer’s proposed FY22 budget expands strategies for violence prevention and intervention,” Dr. Williams said.  “And it grows critical community outreach efforts and support networks, based on targeted areas for the city.”

A critical component, she said, involves community-based intervention through evidence-based models that have shown success at disrupting cycles of violence, victimization and retaliation. That includes strategic outreach, intensive case management – with peer support and mentorship, behavioral therapy and counseling, job training and skills building, conflict mediation, relocation away from dangerous situations – as well as a coordinated crisis response.

Read the full story here. 

See how you can support this effort here.

Click here to learn more.

Stay Connected!

There is great work happening here in the office, and most importantly, in our community. It is our goal to keep you engaged, involved and co-leading our important work. Our vision for Louisville is a city of safe neighborhoods where everyone is supported, free of violence, and prepared for lifelong success. We can only achieve this together, so stay connected with our monthly newsletters, social media, and visit our website for more information and additional calls to action.

Past OSHN Newsletters can be viewed here.

We would love your feedback. If you have questions or concerns regarding our newsletter, or have a related event that you would like to communicate with our networks, contact Joe Newland.

Take care of each other.