Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced a $1.1 million partnership with University Hospital and the Mobile County Health Department to prevent violent crime.

The Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) will intervene in crime situations where gun violence victims are being treated. The victims and their families will be provided with long-term services and support. Those services include mentoring, follow-up care and assistance and case management.

“What we know is that when individuals show up as victims of crime at the hospital, typically they go back out into the streets, back into the neighborhoods and they become a victim again or either they themselves commit a crime,” Stimpson said. “That is what this intervention program is about. It's about intervening while they're at the hospital.”

Stimpson said Project Thrive began work on this initiative in 2017 when they realized hospitals should be required to keep data on gunshot victims. Legislation was passed in 2019 to make the statistics-keeping a requirement.

Curtis Graves, deputy director of Public Safety, said that legislation paved the way for the new initiative.

“This has been a team effort in every imaginable way, and I am just grateful to be a part of it,” Graves added.

The City will use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help finance the project, along with the hospital and the county health department.

The Mobile City Council must approve the City’s $240,000 contribution.

Not everyone is happy with the initiative. Citizens voiced concerns, saying funds should be put into the neighborhoods, not the hospitals. They say the initiative is taking a reactive rather than a proactive approach.

Dr. Ashley Williams Hogue, with Project Inspire at University Hospital, said the hospital sees an average of one gunshot victim per day.

“What the purpose of this program is is to provide the resources to victims so we can stop the cycle of violence," Hogue said.

The item will be considered by the council next week.

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