Civic Coalition to Save Lives

August 2023 Issue

Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center Operational; ChauWing Lam joins to lead operations.

Working with city partners, The Civic Coalition to Save Lives has established the Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center (GVICC), now operational, and being run by Chau Wing Lam, director of operations.

Why it matters: The GVICC is the cornerstone of the effort to bend the curve on gun violence and the primary goal of the Coalition. It will serve as a single point of accountability and coordination to help expand the capacity, effectiveness and coordination of gun violence intervention programs in Philadelphia with very high-risk individuals. The GVICC will:

  • Work to coordinate city- and nonprofit-run violence intervention programs
  • Monitor and support program operations
  • Drive resources and funding to the programs focused on those individuals identified as being most likely to be a perpetrator or victim of gun violence. 

Who is Chau Wing Lam: She’s an experienced leader across the public, private and non-profit sectors, skilled in systems thinking, integrating knowledge, translating vision into strategic action, developing highly-effective diverse teams, and designing operational efficiency.

Appointed by Mayor Kenney and confirmed by City Council in 2022, Lam is an active member of the School District of Philadelphia’s Board of Education. She has previously held operational roles at the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) and at the University of Pennsylvania.

What’s next: Lam is identifying office space for the GVICC, hiring staff and establishing IT and payroll systems. She will oversee GVICC’s day-to-day operations ensuring it is managed and performing effectively.

“The Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center must come to be considered as another crucial municipal city service that remains steady regardless of administrations. EMS/911 Call Centers don’t change when there’s a new police chief or mayor because they are proven, adopted, structured organizations and a single, coordinated point of contact with one specific purpose – the same must be true for the GVICC.” 

Estelle Richman, Executive Director; Civic Coalition to Save Lives and
Senior Advisor on Gun Violence to the City of Philadelphia Managing Director

The Civic Coalition to Save Lives has submitted a proposed panel for SXSW 2024 (South by Southwest) – an annual conference that showcases cutting-edge innovation and creativity at the intersection of art, science and business.

The conference includes keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and performances by renowned artists from around the world.

  • If selected, the proposed panel, “A Proven Playbook to Reduce Gun Violence and Save Lives,” will feature Estelle Richman, Sharmain Matlock-Turner, Dr. Amy Goldberg, and Pastor Carl Day and discuss how civic and government leaders, community-based organizations, and trauma centers are working together to disrupt the cycle of gun violence, saving lives and communities. 
  • Panels are selected using a combination of community voting, SXSW staff, and a team of PanelPicker evaluators.
  • To vote, all you need to do is create a PanelPicker account which is quick, easy and free. Just click on the Sign In button on the top right of the page.

Community Safety Civic Resource Board: Driving Resources to Coordinate and Support Gun Violence Intervention Activities

The Coalition’s second pillar of work is designed to help address resource needs. It currently has two components:

Resource Development: The Coalition has engaged Fairmount Ventures to conduct discovery and funder research and to develop an actionable strategy for pursuing funding for priority needs identified by the City and the Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center.

The engagement will support our shared goals with the city through:

  • Strategy development and positioning
  • National funder research
  • Grant writing and technical assistance

Fairmount Ventures is a women-owned consulting business that has secured over $800 million from individuals, foundations, corporations and government for clients’ operations, programs, capital, and endowment goals, since 1992.

Resource Distribution: A Re-grant Fund Established to Provide Funding to Improve Capacity and Coordination. Grants made to each of city’s Hospital Violence Intervention (HVIP) and Trauma Intervention Programs (TIP).

The Coalition awarded $335,000 in grants to the following HVIPs and TIPs to support their essential work:

  • Temple University Hospital: Hospital Violence Intervention Program
  • Einstein Hospital: Trauma Intervention Program
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Hospital Violence Intervention Program
  • CHOP’s Hospital Violence Intervention Program
  • Drexel’s Healing Hurt People Violence Intervention Program
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Trauma Informed Care Program

The grants can be used for temporary/short-term housing; self-care/wellness for staff, conferences, retreats and discretionary funds for client support.

This funding is intended to help expand the capacity and impact of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs) and Trauma Intervention Programs (TIPs) at institutions that treat the highest volume of gunshot victims.

  • A primary goal of HVIPs and TIPs is to connect victims of gun violence and trauma with trusted community-based organizations that are already working to provide safety planning, services, and trauma-informed care, increasing the potential to divert clients from further involvement with gun-related activity or retaliatory behavior. 

The Coalition has also allocated $200,000 to the following Community-Based Gun Violence Intervention Programs:

These grants were designed to address immediate client and programmatic needs including temporary/short-term housing; employment supports; self-care; retreats; educational and training opportunities; IT systems; and general operating funds.

“The direct, case management work of community-based groups empowers local communities and fosters long-term change,” Richman said.

“We know that integration of programs is effective, and we also know that HVIPs and TIPs in Philadelphia are underfunded and understaffed. If we can provide the resources and the mechanism to better connect those programs with gun violence intervention organizations, we have a greater opportunity to save lives.”

Estelle Richman, Executive Director; Civic Coalition to Save Lives and
Senior Advisor on Gun Violence to the City of Philadelphia Managing Director