The Bayview-Hunters Point Community Response Network, a city-funded program to deflate violence in the area, is undergoing structural changes and will be letting go of its longtime team of youths, reports the San Francisco Examiner today.
The city has spent more than $10 million on the program, which was originally established in the Mission to address youth gang violence in 2004. While the Northwest Community Response Network still operates in the Mission, it expanded to the Bayview and the city is now reorganizing the nonprofit overseeing the program, the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation. According to the Hassan Clarkson, an employee with the Community Response Network, the new nonprofit has stricter rules for who it will hire and only five people from the original staff will remain.
In the context of recent homicides in the Bayview, some fear that the reorganization could be mean fewer people out helping curb the threat of violence. Here’s more from the Examiner:
Moody, of the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation, which oversaw the CRN program until June 30, said the people who made up CRN knew what was happening in the streets and were doing a good job. Their absence will not be good for the neighborhood, Moody said.
“Any time there’s a significant change in the way in which services are delivered in the community, there’s an opportunity, a period of time, where there’s a vacuum,” he said.
Meanwhile, Richard, who led a rally at City Hall in mid-July to raise awareness about violence in the southeast, said he planned to meet with Mayor Lee about rehiring the CRN team.
But for Clarkson, the loss of a job is less important than what he could have prevented.
“I feel like we could have done something,” he said about the recent homicides. “I feel like somebody could have been saved in all this.”
The Bayview’s Supervisor Malia Cohen is calling for a citywide Gun Violence Task Force to focus attention to the ongoing violence in her district and across the city.