D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday a program that connects 200 District residents who are at risk for gun violence with mentors to help them leave a life of crime and to become productive citizens.
The People of Promise program has targeted the 200 residents with the aid of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and the District’s Metropolitan Police Department. The 200 residents will be individually assigned a member of Bowser’s Cabinet, a credible contact from such agencies as the Office of Neighborhood Engagement and Safety, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, or the Department of Corrections and a pathfinder to start the process of improving their lives.
“We know that a relatively small number of people are responsible for a significant amount of gun violence happening in our communities,” Bowser said at a news conference at His and Hers restaurant in Northeast. “What we are doing is reaching out to those people, listening to them and figuring out what they need, and then working with them to get them on a better, safer path forward.”
Bowser’s proposed fiscal 2023 budget will add 20 life coaches to the People of Promise program at the level of $1.7 million to provide intensive and high-quality care for the selected residents.
Lamont Carey, director of the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, said the life coaches and the People of Promise program will help formerly incarcerated residents connect to housing and job opportunities.
“People deserve a real second chance,” Carey said.