Mount Vernon SNUG of FSW
FSW’s SNUG (guns spelled backwards) Street Outreach program provides funding and training from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to nonprofit organizations that manage street outreach programs in 11 communities – Albany, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mount Vernon, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse, the Bronx, Troy, Yonkers and Wyandanch.
SNUG is based on CURE Violence, a highly successful violence prevention model developed in Chicago in the mid 1990s, that takes a public health approach toward the problem of street violence by using outreach workers who have ties within their communities and can work with the individuals who are most likely to be involved with gun violence.
Connecting High-Risk Individuals with Resources
These workers help connect high-risk individuals with resources such as educational institutions, mental health services, and jobs. The outreach team responds to shootings and other violent incidents to prevent retaliation and also helps detect conflicts and resolve them peacefully before they lead to additional violence.
Established in 2009, the program has its own training curriculum, which was developed using best practices from other programs and integrates the use of crime analysis to guide its work.
SNUG hires culturally appropriate workers who live in the community, are known to high-risk people, and have been involved with the criminal justice system themselves, but have made a change in their lives and turned away from crime.
These individuals act as mentors for high-risk individuals, illustrating a path out of violence and toward more productive lives.
SNUG offers participants:
- Employment training opportunities
- Re-entry into the educational system
- Support in escaping the street life
- Conflict mediation
- Housing referrals
- Substance abuse counseling referrals
- Violence prevention
- Recreational activities
- Volunteer opportunities to help keep peace in the community
- Parole/probation supportive activities
Robert Carter, SNUG Program Director