The grant will enable City Connect Detroit to expand its campaign and collaborate with community and neighborhood partners such as Don Bosco Hall, Neighborhood Service Organization, Think Detroit PAL, and WOW Church and Life Center — as well as the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, which it has worked with for nearly two years — to implement youth intervention and engagement programs.
"The Kellogg Foundation believes in community-based solutions," said Sharnita C. Johnson, the foundation's program officer for Detroit. "Just like parents and communities all across Michigan, Detroiters want to make sure that their children are safe and have opportunities to grow and thrive. The Detroit Youth First Initiative involves the community in identifying the issues, developing solutions, and making measureable change for the city's youth."
In addition, the grant will enable City Connect to leverage national funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and attract additional funders and partners to develop a robust, sustainable system of positive youth development activities in the city. Indeed, a number of community partners have been and continue to be involved in the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, including Detroit Public Schools, the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, and the Detroit Public Safety and Skillman foundations.
"Youth violence is a touch issue that requires the full community to respond if we want to effectively address it," said Tonya Allen, chief operating officer and vice president of program at the Skillman Foundation. "We have worked in partnership with the mayor, chief of police, Department of Justice, other law enforcement agencies, and community-based agencies because we believe in the power of community to solve youth violence, if we act as one."