Focused Interruption Coalition

Under Nehemiah Community Development Corporation's crisis response proposal, the peer support specialists from the Focused Interruption Coalition, seen above, would respond to violent incidents and provide trauma-informed care. 

PHOTO BY SAIYNA BASHIR

Pending approval from the Madison City Council, Nehemiah Community Development Corporation and Madison-area Urban Ministry will carry out long-term peer support services to those caught up in cycles of violence.

The city’s Finance Committee recommended up to $150,000 in 2017 funds and up to $200,000 in 2018 to Nehemiah and partners, including the Focused Interruption Coalition, to provide peer support to people affected by violence and those considered at risk of engaging in violent behavior.

Under Nehemiah’s crisis response proposal, the coalition’s peer support specialists would respond to violent incidents, provide trauma-informed care to deter effects of trauma and aim to reduce violence in the city. Nehemiah would also partner with Anesis Therapy Center and the Urban League of Greater Madison.

Participants would receive peer counseling and case management in addition to help with housing, transportation, access to AODA and mental health services and priority entry into job skills training and placement programs. Each peer support specialist would maintain a caseload of 10 to 15 participants

The program would also provide a 24/7 hotline with two dispatchers on call to respond to situations.

The Finance Committee also recommended the same amount of funding to Madison-area Urban Ministry and its partners to provide reentry services to people returning to the community from incarceration and considered at risk of reoffending.

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Under MUM’s proposal, participants would have access to community engagement opportunities, peer support and mentoring, employment and housing opportunities and mental health and AODA support. MUM would partner with FAIR, ACCESS Housing, Employment and Training Association and Vision Beyond Bars.

Funding in 2018 would be contingent on the approval of the 2018 operating budget.

Last fall, the City Council approved $400,000 in the 2017 budget to fund the first steps of a 15-point violence reduction plan put forward by the Focused Interruption Coalition, a grassroots group made up of community and faith leaders. The executive operating budget for 2018 includes $400,000 to continue violence prevention efforts through peer support programming.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.