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Safe Streets to expand to Brooklyn-Curtis Bay

Posted at 11:27 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 12:52:04-04

BALTIMORE — Safe Streets, the community violence mediation program, is expanding its reach in Baltimore south thanks to the support of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

After demonstrating its proven ability to lower violence and build community relations with its program in Sandtown-Winchester, Safe Streets will open its second location in the Brooklyn-Curtis Bay, or Baybrook, community, Catholic Charities announced in a statement Tuesday. The office is expected to begin “it’s community mission in mid-May.” The effort is a partnership between Catholic Charities, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, and the Greater Baybrook Alliance. The program will run out of a store front building at 423 E. Patapsco Ave.

“The Greater Baybrook Alliance heard great things about Catholic Charities' successful operation of a Safe Streets program in Sandtown-Winchester,” said GBA Executive Director Meredith Chaiken. “We were looking for a partner that had the capacity to get the program off the ground and running quickly while remaining grounded in the community engagement. Catholic Charities has shown tremendous sensitivity and deference to the concerns and desires of Brooklyn residents, while also maintaining the integrity of the proven Safe Streets model.”

READ MORE: Changes coming to Baltimore's Safe Streets program

Beyond mediating conflict and executing strategies to reduce or intercede violence, Safe Streets aims to provide community resources like job training, meal programs, and therapy, Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy said.

Following the surge of violence that erupted after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, Catholic Charities and Safe Streets first partnered to establish a city site in Sandtown-Winchester. That program has become a trusted part of the community after demonstrating the ability to curb confrontations that may escalate to violence, Catholic Charities said. The Safe Streets Sandtown-Winchester team prevented 515 incidents from becoming violent between July 2017 and July 2018, the group said. The area enjoyed a 320-day stretch without a shooting death.

While Safe Streets has proven results in Baltimore neighborhoods and other cities, the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood has been home to headline-grabbing violence in the past year. In November of 2018, the 5-year-old sister of Taylor Hayes, the 7-year-old girl killed in Edmondson Village, was shot while going to a corner store on McKean Street. In January, police shot at a fleeing car while investigating an incident in the neighborhood. Roughly a week later, a 25-year-old was killed on Fulton Street. Most recently, on March 11 a triple shooting on Appleton Street left two men injured and an 18-year-old woman, Taylor Davis killed. Davis’ death stung the community as she was seen as an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet.