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Grand Rapids Seeking Safety Modification

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $860,134)

The Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (Vision 21) envisions that “all crime victims in the 21st century can readily access a seamless continuum of evidence-based services and support that will allow them to begin physical, emotional, and financial recovery.” However, Vision 21 recognizes there are serious challenges to achieving this goal. Improving the field’s understanding of violence and trauma and their effects on survivors are among these challenges. To this end, OVC collaborated with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to release the FY 15 Supporting Male Survivors of Violence solicitation. The solicitation sought to enhance the services available to male survivors of violence, particularly boys and men of color, and their families, by funding demonstration projects that put in place evidence-based models and practices to provide trauma-informed, comprehensive services and supporting policies for these survivors and their families. OVC and OJJDP used this solicitation to competitively select 12 demonstration sites from across the country to meet this need.

The City of Grand Rapids will use this award to modify the Seeking Safety Program (SSP). During the three year project period, the project will work to ensure that SSP is developmentally and culturally relevant for African-American males, ages 16-24, that are harmed by violence, increase enrollment in the modified program, and provide wrap-around supports for this survivor group and their families.

The Family Outreach Center (FOC) will serve as the lead agency on the local SSP implementation working group, which includes Grand Rapids Police Department, Research and Evaluation Associates, LLC, local victim assistance programs, the Heart of West Michigan United Way, and people with lived experience. Public outreach will occur through press releases targeting local radio and newspapers that reach the African-American community; presentations and promotional materials given to the Grand Rapids Urban League, Black Chamber of Commerce, Inter-denomination Ministerial Alliance of Grand Rapids, community mental health organizations, local businesses, health clinics, schools and the courts; educating organizations that work with survivors of violence about the program and eliciting opportunity for referrals and collaboration.


Date Created: September 29, 2015