Our Operation H.O.O.D. (Helping Our Own Develop) Cure Violence Initiative in Coney Island aims to identify and mediate conflicts among high-risk youth, mentor high-risk youth to change behaviors toward gun violence and mobilize the community to raise awareness about violence and promote community norms that reject violence.
We help build relationships and work with program participants to develop conflict resolution skills. We engage trusted community members committed to both transforming the direction of their lives as well as to cleansing the violence from their neighborhood. These individuals have experienced and participated in the violence first hand. They make it possible to anticipate where violence will occur and to intervene before violence has a chance to erupt. These individuals further act as mentors for high-risk individuals, illustrating a path out of violence and an opportunity for a more fulfilling life.
We aim to give community members the tools they need to foster safe, productive lives. Our staff offers assistance with housing, health care, social services and educational issues. We also provide case management services and act as a link between other intergovernmental agencies and community based organizations.
Operation H.O.O.D. has made the Coney Island community safer and achieved phenomenal outcomes, including multiple periods of 200 days without a shooting and hundreds of at-risk youths taking ownership and bettering their lives. Operation H.O.O.D. maintains a walk-in center located on Mermaid Avenue centrally located in Coney Island.
Included also in our Cure Violence services are a Therapeutic Services Program, that provides mental health counseling; and a School Conflict Resolution Program in PS 288 and Liberation Diploma Plus High School that is empowering high-risk youth with the tools to manage stress, resolve conflicts peaceably, create educational and life goals, and strive – together with the support of caring staff- to realize these goals.
We would like to thank the Operation H.O.O.D. program funders, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE).