On Monday, January 9, nonprofits, community organizations, and faith-based organizations involved with the Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) program came together to learn from each other, find ways to work together, talk about the needs they see in the community, and learn about how to best communicate with the public.
“It’s the consistent involvement in all our programs that will break the cycle of violence [in our community],” said Susanna Patterson, Executive Director of Central Georgia CASA, Inc.
“We need to make real connections with the community,” Lakesia Toomer with Next Level Community Development Center told the group.
The event was hosted by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia (CFCG) and included the organizations that received grants from Macon-Bibb County through CFCG and the Violence Interrupters who were funded earlier in the year.
Groups broke into small groups to talk with each other about what’s working for them, where they see gaps in services, ongoing challenges, and how each could work more closely together. In the report out, groups talked about to reduce crime, a need for more mental health services, a need to generate more short-term results, more collaboration on days when children are not in school, how to show children the whole community cares, and more.
“I think the discussions between people were very helpful. We had groups begin planning events together and talk about how their programs could complement each other throughout the year,” says CFCG President Kathryn Dennis. “One thing that really stood out was people saying afterward how encouraged they were after hearing the work happening in other neighborhoods.”
Prior to the small group sessions, people learned about the importance of showing the public the work being in the community, as well as strategies to make that happen. That included letting people know how they could help, inviting people to sign up for services, and showcasing success stories.
About the Macon Violence Prevention Grants
More than $800,000 was granted to 25 nonprofit and faith-based organizations to put in place programs and efforts to reduce violent crime; each goal they are trying to meet was made by the nearly 2,000 people through forums and surveys on what our neighborhoods need. Those outcomes are outlined in the MVP Strategic Plan, and the full list of organizations and programs can be found by clicking here. Organizations were selected through an application and review process led by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.
“The solution to violent crime in our community will be found in all of us working together on the same team,” explained Mayor Lester Miller. “The fact that more than 50 organizations came to the table with good ideas and applied for MVP grants shows that the people of our community are committed to this historic effort. If we continue to work together, we will create a safer, stronger community now and for future generations.”
Macon Violence Prevention is an evidence-based, multifaceted program created to address public safety in Macon-Bibb County. Supported and funded by the consolidated government, MVP is a community-wide effort that brings together elected officials, community leaders, agencies, organizations, and departments.
The MVP program operates under the guidance of the MVP Strategic Plan, which was created by community stakeholders and violent crime experts. It combines data and research with community feedback to implement proven solutions that reduce violent crime and strengthen the community over time.