Gun violence reduction initiative welcomed to Cataract City
The Niagara Falls SNUG Street Outreach Program, operated by Community Missions, will hold an open house from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, to welcome the community to its office at 1702 Pine Ave.
The NYS SNUG Street Outreach Program (SNUG) uses a public health approach to reduce gun violence by identifying the source, interrupting transmission, and treating it by providing services and resources to individuals and families, and changing community norms around gun violence.
“A program like SNUG, with the goal of aiding in the reduction of gun violence, is much needed in the City of Niagara Falls, and I couldn’t be more excited that Community Missions and the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services are bringing this program to our city,” said Eric Boerdner, vice president of specialized services at Community Missions. “Through street outreach and involvement in and with the community, we are up to the challenge of doing our part in reducing gun violence in our city.”
Niagara Falls joined Utica as the latest New York communities within the state-supported SNUG network, which includes Albany, the Bronx, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mt. Vernon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Rochester, Troy, Wyandanch and Yonkers.
SNUG is an evidence-based violence reduction initiative established in New York state in 2009. The program seeks to engage high-risk individuals causing violence in communities with high rates of violent crimes, address the issues that may be causing high-risk individuals to engage in gun violence, and share with the community how violence is spread.
SNUG seeks to modify an existing norm of community acceptance of violent behavior from its citizens by engaging community residents, businesses and community-based organizations to implement coordinated strategies to reduce and prevent shootings and killings. The program employs and relies on street outreach workers who live in the communities they serve to act and be viewed as credible messengers by persons at high-risk offenses.
About Community Missions
Community Missions has provided the Niagara community with a wide range of vital services since 1925. In 2022, CMI provided over 218,000 meals and more than 13,000 nights of care within its crisis services programs. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-oriented settings. For more information, visit www.CommunityMissions.org.