JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The crime prevention program in Jacksonville known as Cure Violence could be closing one of its sites in the Moncrief neighborhood, and that has the surrounding community worried.
Cure Violence is a national program that the city of Jacksonville brought to the community in April 2019 to help reduce crime in the city.
The idea of the program coming to Duval County passed unanimously among city council members, and instantly, Cure Violence employees began working to prevent violent crime on the Westside, Eastside and Northside of Jacksonville.
Those who said the program helped save their lives are now hoping something can be done to save the program.
KyVon Brown told News4JAX back in 2022 that the program saved his life and made him focus on being a more productive and positive person.
According to multiple sources, the program is changing by shutting down the Northside location, “Bridges to the Cure.” Sources also said that staff was given one month to find new jobs.
The city, however, said the program will remain in Jacksonville, but it did not explain any potential changes.
“I can confirm the program is NOT ending but as far as what the future holds re: the structure of the organization it is a bit premature to discuss at this point,” Katie Wiles, with the city of Jacksonville, told News4JAX.
Tyree Watson, a Cure Violence participant, said he’s also concerned about losing the program in his community because it helped him stay out of trouble, find employment and taught him how to better manage life’s challenges.
“It kind of worries me because it’s only one branch. They are trying to take away one branch and that one branch happens to be in the worst part of where they were. It’s one of the worst parts of the Northside,” Watson said.
Since 2019, the city has invested $4 million into the program with three Cure Violence sites: Bridges to the Cure in Northwest Jacksonville, Noah’s Ark on the Eastside and Potter’s House Community Empowering Center on the Westside.
“Before they wipe the program away, they need to look into the program and see how they can help us better. It was put there for a reason so what’s the difference from when they were put there to now?” Watson said.
According to News4JAX records, so far in 2023, five of the 25 people who have been shot were in the Moncrief area.
News4JAX also put in a request to obtain recent data from the Cure Violence program.