Rising violence draws $50 million public health commitment from Allegheny County

Police carry a casket to a hearse from the Destiny of Faith Church on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Brighton Heights. The funeral of John Hornezes Jr., one of the victims in the Cedar Avenue shooting on Oct. 15, was taking place as multiple shooters shot into the crowd gathered outside the church, hitting six people. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

The Department of Human Services plans to steer the funds to countywide and community-focused organizations through 2028.

by Amelia Winger, PublicSource

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has committed $50 million over five years toward funding partnerships with community organizations taking public health approaches to preventing gun violence. 

“This effort is intended to be coordinated at the county level but implemented locally,” Fitzgerald said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “The organizations receiving funding, and the people who do the work, are best suited to determine how to make an impact in their community.”

The public health approach to violence prevention calls for treating violence like an infectious disease. Researchers seek to identify the root causes of gun violence — including poverty, systemic racism and a lack of educational opportunities — so that they can understand what factors may put an individual at risk of becoming involved in gun violence, and how they can intervene before it’s too late.  

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