Joe Cobb live in studio, June 2019 – Ian Price photo

Two grants from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services totaling $550,000 will be used to help the City of Roanoke combat youth and gang violence. $25,000 will be employed to complete a community assessment by the end of this year; the rest will be designated to hire a Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Outreach coordinator and two outreach workers. Joe Cobb is a Roanoke City Councilman and the city’s representative on the otherwise resident-led Gun Violence Prevention Commission, which has been meeting for almost two years.

(from City of Roanoke) The Department of Criminal Justice Services has awarded the City of Roanoke two grants. The first is a $25,000 grant to complete a Youth and Gang Violence Community Assessment, which will begin soon and be concluded by the end of the year. This assessment will allow the City to develop a plan of action for the identification, prevention, and intervention of youth and gang violence in the City.  The second is a $500,000 grant for a Gun Violence Intervention Program, which will be used over a two-year period, June 1, 2021 through June 20, 2023. Some of these funds will be designated to hire a Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator, and two Outreach Workers who will be responsible for reaching out to youth and young adults with high numbers of risk factors identified by the Community Assessment.

“These are action steps that we’re taking to make a difference in our community with regard to gun violence,” says Mayor Sherman Lea. “We are optimistic that these initiatives are going to have an impact on our community, and we will keep working to that end.”

“These grants will allow the City and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission to take gun violence reduction to the next level, “says Council Member Joe Cobb.  “This is an exciting day for the City and a positive step to create new pathways of possibility for the youth in our community.”