Aim4Peace: Who are they and what is their mission?

Editor’s Note:  Information for this article was taken from Aim4Peace website, brochure, and from conversation at the screening of the film, “The Interrupter.”

 Aim4Peace Mission

Aim4Peace aims to increase the community’s ability to handle disputes nonviolently.  Aim4Peace is the movement to stop the shooting and killing.

How Aim4Peace Works

Aim4Peace is an evidence-based health approach to reduce shootings and homicides. Aim4Peace uses highly trained violence interrupters and outreach staff, public education campaigns, Neighborhood Action Teams and community mobilization to reverse the violence epidemic in Kansas City, Missouri. Aim4Peace focuses on the neighborhood factors that most often contribute to violent crime, helping those who are considered at highest risk of committing offenses due to their living or employment situation.

About Aim4Peace
The Aim4Peace program began in 2008 and was originally based on the Ceasefire: Stop the Shooting project in Chicago. Aim4Peace currently focuses on the Police Department’s East Patrol Division, one of Kansas City’s highest crime neighborhoods.  They model behavior modification techniques for those individuals who are ready to change. With continued success the plan will be implemented throughout the City in the future. Aim4Peace is committed to making neighborhoods safer. The Aim4Peace: Violence Prevention Project is a division of the Kansas City, Missouri Health Depart­ment. They are focused on Kansas City’s highest crime neighborhoods.

Services
Aim4Peace sponsors all the programs below.
The Aim4Peace Life Skills Learning Program works to prevent school delinquency and drop-outs, supporting community actions to keep students in school. Aim4Peace offers both community and school-based courses:

  • Life Skills courses (grades 5-12 and ages 19-40)
  • Delinquency prevention
  • Personal development
  • Education about the dangers of involvement in gangs and/or street organizations

The Job Readiness and Anger Management programs are four-week courses held every month. Job Readiness helps participants prepare for obstacles that can happen when they enter the workforce, providing tips for keeping and maintaining steady employment. The Anger Management course focuses on problem solving, communication skills, personal qualities, money management and budgeting, and work ethics. These courses are open to the community.
Through the Job Fair Initiative, Aim4Peace has helped more than 400 residents seeking employment by connecting them with local employers and specialized skill or trade educational institutions. At the events, Aim4Peace also provided information on housing assistance and resume building, conducted mock interviews and linked attendees with local social service agencies.

Through the Hospital Prevention Program, workers respond to gunshot and violence-related trauma situations, intervene in conflicts and aim to prevent further violence. Working with emergency department staff, Aim4Peace reaches out to community members who are most at risk of being involved in future shootings.

Other Aim4Peace participant services include:
Customized one-on-one case management using risk reduction plans to offer long-term solutions to help clients step out of the high-risk lifestyles

  • Workforce counseling
  • Youth, adult and parent mentoring
  • Advocacy and support
  • Human and social support services
  • Transportation to classes, job interviews and employment
  • Access to employment resources and educational institutions

The Aim4Peace mission is to increase the capacity of the community to handle its own disputes and empower citizens through community mobilization to peacefully resolve their conflicts.  The group is based on Ceasefire, an anti-violent crime organization in Chicago.  Aim4Peace is a community-based violence prevention program that uses data-driven interventions to reduce retaliatory and gang-related violence.

Aim4Peace has sponsored the powerful and inspiring film “The Interrupters.”  This film tells the moving and surprising story of three Chicago CeaseFire ‘violence interrupt­ers’ who with bravado, humility and even humor try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed.   A staffer at Kartemquin Films, the promoter of this documentary, said:  “This film spotlights the passionate efforts of three violence interrupters over the course of a year.”

As a national partner of the CeaseFire program, Aim4Peace is based on the same model replicated in the movie. For more information about Aim4Peace and the film “The Interrupt­ers,” please contact Aim4Peace at the addresses below.

For more information, visit www.kcmo.org/aim4peace, call 816-513-7902, or write aim4peace@kcmo.org. You can also view a powerful video here.

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2 Comments »

  1. Angela Drellmann said

    For the first time I write a reply to an article in the kcolivebranch.
    I lived more than 20 years ago for half a year in Shalom House, KC Missouri and heard more than one time shots in the neighbourhood. During that time the old Lady, living next to us lost her second grandchild through a shooting. I couldn´t believe how many young guys came direct after being shot from hospital to Shalom House. That was a new strange world for me. In Germany people have social problems and quarrels with their neighbours,too. We do have violence, too. But the fact that its illegal to own a gun if you don`t have a good reason makes a big difference. To be aggressive and fight with your hands means most of the time that both men survive.
    I think for me as a European citizen it`s impossible to understand why the history of America (this is my land and I will fight against everybody who wants to set a foot on my ground) needs to have so much influence in the 21century.
    I know it needs long time to change things, so: Good luck in fighting against violence! You are real heroes!

    • kcob said

      Thank you for your comment Angela. I have also lived at Shalom House and witnessed similar things. We must continue to fight for peace in our neighborhood, city, country, and world everyday.

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