Milwaukee County violence, ARPA funds to address

Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley on Friday signed legislation to allocate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address community violence.

The signing comes just a little over two weeks after Crowley addressed the ARPA taskforce and requested emergency funds to address the acute crisis of community violence, a news release said.

"We’ve seen a violent start to the year in Milwaukee County, and it is no secret that this remains a difficult time for all of us. We recognize the urgency of the problem in our streets, and I’m proud of both the ARPA taskforce and the County Board for swiftly moving this request," Crowley said in the news release. "This was a unique opportunity to give our departments the tools they need to make a measurable, positive effect in the communities we serve. I applaud county leaders stepping up to meet the moment on behalf of county residents."

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The $6.7 million in funding will be allocated to six programs:

  • Expand the Credible Messenger fellowship program. One of the largest areas of community engagement for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), engaged with residents and grassroots organizations to address needs of young adults. The focus is on community building and teen/youth engagement year around – not just when designing or evaluating programs.
  • Trauma and crisis response beds, and wrap around mental health and substance abuse services on-site, for those who refuse to go to traditional shelters.
  • Additional support to the Trauma Response Team, so it is able to provide quicker and more comprehensive services to identify traumatic experiences and help guide youth away from using violence in the future and stop would-be acts of violence before they can occur.
  • A mental health and healing awareness campaign for DHHS and the Office of Equity to work together to expand awareness of services and resources to vulnerable populations and promote mental wellness/healing strategies in ZIP code areas with a history of being harmed by inequitable policy.
  • Safer Routes to County Parks by limiting the direct and indirect impacts of reckless driving on the parks system by implementing physical improvements to the street crossings accessing our parks. (Ex: curb extensions, raised crosswalks, crosswalk painting, new signage and new medians.)
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design which invests in physical improvements like lighting, line-of-sight optimization and getting rid of vacant buildings to increase the safety of our park-goers.

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