The Greater Flint Gun Violence Prevention Network (VPN) is a collaborative of passionate individuals who are building connections to address the pressing issue of gun violence and work towards creating a safer environment for everyone: especially the children.

VPN’s purpose is to guide, empower, and promote the work of Flint’s Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI). Through a Genesee County-wide collaborative, multimethod, data collection, and analysis approach, the multidisciplinary VPN is conducting a needs assessment to develop a detailed understanding of the nature, patterns, and root causes of community violence within the City of Flint and develop and help implement a strategic plan in tackling these causes.

The goal is to create a blueprint for gun violence prevention in Flint that uses data, resident support, and a public health crisis approach as methods to address the issue. The network also promotes and supports the work of individuals, groups, and organizations that are stakeholders in gun violence prevention.

“We have the organizations, and focus to do the work in Flint,” said Percy Glover, Executive Director of Community Engagement for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. “We have relationships with people, and what we need. We need to just balance and bring groups together.”

Results of a youth survey found that mentorship, education, and mental health are key violence intervention strategies. Jalil X of the Peacekeepers Global Initiative says, “All young people want is to be loved.”

Peacekeepers provide conflict resolution, activating the talents of intervention experts. Partnering with social service organizations, they provide support and resources to at-risk individuals, focusing on prevention strategies.

Gun violence is a domino effect,” Glover added. “If we ignore intervention the dominos keep falling.”

- Percy Glover