The City Council approved a new contract with One Step Further to run the Cure Violence program in Greensboro for another year at the Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting.
There was no official report on the program, however, councilmembers did receive a brief update by email from Assistant City Manager Trey Davis who later emailed that update to the Rhino Times.
The $399,000 contract was approved by a unanimous vote of the City Council with Councilmember Yvonne Johnson recused since she is the executive director of One Step Further.
The Cure Violence program is highly controversial in itself and made more so in Greensboro because it is run by Johnson, who is arguably the most powerful member of the City Council.
Cure Violence attempts to reduce the number of violent crimes and in particular murders in specific areas by hiring “interveners” who are often convicted felons and ex-gang members. The job of the “interveners” is to find out about and stop violent crimes before they occur through mediation and having a relationship with those in the community.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that when the City Council committed to contracting with One Step Further to run the Cure Violence program, “We said it would have to be for more than a year. Cure Violence and the staff have done a really good job.”
Vaughan and Councilmembers Justin Outling and Sharon Hightower all talked about expanding the Cure Violence program to additional neighborhoods. It currently operates in two, the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor and Smith Homes.
The update provided by Davis does not show any success in the reduction of homicides in the two Cure Violence areas. In 2018 there was one homicide in the MLK corridor area and in 2019 no homicides. So far in 2020 with the Cure Violence program in operation there have been two homicides in the MLK corridor.
In Smith Homes in 2018 there was one homicide and in 2019 there were no homicides in the Smith Homes area. So far in 2020 there have been no homicides in the Smith Homes area.
If you consolidate the data in the two areas during 2019 before Cure Violence there were no homicides and in January through November 16, 2020 with the Cure Violence program in place there have been two homicides.