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City leaders bringing Peace Mobile to Baltimore to help heal communities

Peace Mobile .jpeg
Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 18:40:19-05

BALTIMORE — Healing communities is part of the main mission for the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE).

Now, WMAR is looking closer at how they plan to do that in the Baltimore community next year.

Organizers said their mission is helping communities heal from the trauma of gun violence. Shantay Jackson, who’s the director of MONSE, said expanding the way they respond to trauma is what they’ve been working all year to perfect, now we’re getting a closer look at the model they’re using to create and promote peace in Baltimore.

“The Peace Mobile is going to be the conduit through which we get into neighborhoods when the mayor decides to activate a coordinated neighborhood stabilization response,” Jackson said.

Holistically healing communities of trauma is the mission behind what MONSE is planning for Baltimoreans in the new year. It’s part of the commitment that Mayor Scott and his administration has made around making sure they meet people where they are.

That commitment is starting with creating a peace mobile similar to the one created by Erica Ford in New York.

“It has been beyond impactful. Through the services of the peace mobile we are able to help people heal. We are able to mediate conflict, we will interrupt incidents of violence and different situations that could lead to retaliation,” Ford said.

Considering the trauma families, neighbors, business owners and first responders receive after a shooting, organizers of Life Camp created the Peace Mobile as a way to begin healing people and restoring balance for their mind, body and soul.

“Whether it’s mental health support, whether in securing identification, whether it’s expungement, whether it’s a health clinic or job fair,” Jackson said.

“We believe in the dealing with the disease of violence and so we help people by doing healing circles,” Ford said.

Those healing circles start inside the Peace Mobile created specifically to activate the senses.

“When you come on the Peace Mobile, you’ll see we have a punching bag where we allow people to get it out get it off their chest. We have a recording studio where we do pain on beats,” Ford said.

The entire model is something leaders in Baltimore City hopes to replicate.

“You gotta get help, and the Peace Mobile is going to allow you to get a little bit of tools that you can use to change your life and change the lives of the people around you,” Ford said.

“It is a way that they have been able to demonstrate that safe spaces can come to you,” Jackson said.

The neighborhood stabilization response has already started being implemented this year- city leaders have been piloting it without the Peace Mobile. We’ve seen that response implemented through the collaboration of MONSE and community organizations like Safe Streets.

However, next year MONSE leaders said Baltimore will have a Peace Mobile of their own helping to heal communities holistically.