In Brooklyn, S.O.S. works to stop shootings and killings within the neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. There are also two sister-sites operating in the South Bronx and the Morissania neighborhood. In Brooklyn, the program focuses on several fronts to disrupt violence: S.O.S. Violence Interrupters mediate conflicts on the street, Outreach Workers work with the people most likely to be involved in shooting incidents to change their thinking and behavior, and Hospital Responders meet with victims of gun violence and their families at the emergency department at Kings County Hospital to prevent retaliation and interrupt the cycle of violence. S.O.S. works closely with neighborhood leaders and businesses to promote a public, community-supported campaign against gun violence. S.O.S. has an ongoing and critical collaboration with local clergy through S.O.S. C.A.N., in which clergy members assist in mobilizing participation in vigils within 72 hours of an incident, provide counseling, and promote a message of non-violence.
Make It Happen is a program for young men of color between the ages of 16 and 24 who have been negatively impacted by community violence. It is our goal through Make It Happen to provide supportive services to young men of color who are dealing with trauma, yet are not in a position to acknowledge and process their trauma. Make It Happen is a trauma informed and culturally competent program that provides mentorship, intensive case management, clinical interventions and supportive group workshops.
YO S.O.S. is the youth mobilization arm of S.O.S. The program empowers young people to become peer educators and community organizers around issues of violence, trauma, and conflict mediation. Through a combination of interactive workshops and community organizing opportunities, participants develop fundamental leadership skills including public speaking, group facilitation, networking, problem-solving, event planning and campaign implementation. Participants who successfully complete the program receive community service hours, a stipend, and assistance securing summer internships and jobs. YO S.O.S. meets twice weekly throughout the school year and is available to youth ages 14-18.
Justice Community Plus (JCP) connects young adults with educational and work-readiness opportunities. JCP staff provide job placement services, vocational training, and soft skills development, as well as assistance with high school equivalency attainment and educational planning. Program participants also receive individual coaching from staff mentors and take part in civic engagement projects related to anti-violence and community improvement. JCP serves residents of Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy who are between the ages of 16 and 29.
Through our Legal Hand office, staff are able to assist neighbors with and make referrals for mental health and substance abuse treatment, benefit eligibility and applications, tutoring and college applications, emergency food and housing options, affordable housing, job training programs, summer youth programs, and adult education classes. Legal Hand also hosts organizations providing free tax assistance, free health care screenings, and free legal services.
We collect information and create guides for Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy residents to increase awareness of resources available in the community.
Arts to End Violence is the Mediation Center’s annual celebration of local talent, neighborhood pride, and community building. We work to end violence, and believe in the power of art to bring people together, facilitate healing, and motivate positive social change.
Save Our Streets hosts a variety of events throughout the year with the goal of engaging community members in safe and healthy activities and promoting messages of anti-violence. Annual events include the Kingston Avenue Festival, Bed-Stuy Summer Kickoff, Back to School Play Streets, and the S.O.S. Talent Show.
Neighbors In Action seeks to improve the physical environment of the community in ways that promote safety and public access. By helping to implement the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), we are working with the City to improve the physical environment in public housing developments and invest in safety strategies that are co-produced by tenants.
S.O.S. and NIA programming fosters an active and powerful base of community members whose job it is to amplify impact, hold us accountable, and generate new ideas for building safer healthier neighborhoods. In turn, we provide trainings on a variety of topics, from conflict resolution to community organizing. Join our growing volunteer base and become a part of our movement for peaceful, vibrant neighborhoods.
The Make It Happen Community Healers and Mentors for Personal Success (C.H.A.M.P.S.) are young leaders who have become peer mentors after completing the Make It Happen program. The C.H.A.M.P.S. are trained in group facilitation and work with mainly with middle school students to help them engage with the topics of healthy masculinity, healing and trust building.
Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets seeks to mobilize young people and train them to be peer leaders in their communities (see full description above).
Neighbors in Action is currently seeking to reignite its Leadership Training Institute. The LTI will run free training sessions that will develop residents’ skills and identities as organizers with the tools and vision to make the changes they want to see in their community.