Civic Coalition to Save Lives

June 2023 Issue

The Coalition continues to make significant strides towards our shared goals with the City to:

  1. Establish a single point of city-wide gun violence intervention coordination
  2. Create a civic resource board that will provide experts and resources from the civic and business community
  3. Educate and engage stakeholders. 

Each month, this newsletter will provide updates on those goals, share examples of work and highlight organizations and leaders in Philadelphia whose efforts are making a difference for those most at risk of resorting to or falling victim to gun violence. 

Gun Violence Coordination Center

This month, we’re pleased to share the Coalition has taken steps to establish a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to house the Gun Violence Coordination Center (GVICC). 

  • GVICC will serve as a single point of accountability and coordination to help support and expand the capacity, effectiveness, and coordination of gun violence intervention programs

Intervention programs are focused on those individuals determined to be at Very High Risk of killing or being killed and work to reduce incidence of gun violence in the near-term (1-3 years).

Community Drivers

Pastor Carl Day is the founder of Culture Changing Christians and his “Beat the Block” program is saving lives by changing minds in Philadelphia.

  • Beat the Block utilizes a a four-month personal and professional development curriculum developed by Pastor Day
  • The program focuses on young men, ages 18-25 in the city’s Allegheny West neighborhood
  • The first 30 days often include helping participants obtain the paperwork and identification needed for any job placement
  • According to Day, of the 66 men who have completed “Beat the Block,” 62 are gainfully employed and modeling the benefits of the program

Learn more about this impactful program here.

Building Momentum

The City of Philadelphia recently launched its third intervention-focused program.

  • The City’s newest intervention program is based on Chicago’ssuccessful READI program which has shown promising results since its inception in 2017. Learn more about READI Chicago here
  • Next City recently covered Philadelphia’s version of this model – Pushing Progress Philadelphia (P3)– as it begins to staff up and enroll clients. Read their piece here.
  • On June 23rd, Coalition member, Independence Blue Cross, hosted the City’s convening of Hospital Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs).
  • Leaders and staff from these programs, which operate at each of Philadelphia’s trauma centers, spent the day discussing strategies for alignment and coordination of services. The convening was coordinated by Dr. Ruth Abaya – an attending physician in CHOP’s ER and Stoneleigh Fellow working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health using data to identify gun violence intervention opportunities. The convening was supported by the Civic Coalition to Save Lives.
  • HVIPs are multidisciplinary programs that combine the efforts of medical staff with trusted community-based partners to provide safety planning, services, and trauma-informed care to violently injured people.

Partner Spotlight

Coalition Co-Founder Receives The Philadelphia Award

  • Sharmain Matlock-Turner, CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, and founding member of The Civic Coalition to Save Lives, received the prestigious Philadelphia Award on June 6th at a ceremony held at the Comcast Technology Center.
  • Trustees of The Philadelphia Award pointed to Sharmain’s “courage of leadership” as a founding member of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives, upon announcing their selection of the recipient for the 102nd presentation of the award.
  • The Philadelphia Award recognizes Philadelphians who acted and served on behalf of the best interests of the community in the previous year. 
  • Learn more about the Philadelphia Award here.
  • Watch a video from the event here.


The Civic Coalition to Save Lives thanks Dr. Ruth Abaya and former City of Philadelphia Policy Director and Deputy Chief of Staff, Julia Hinckley for their efforts in helping establish the strong partnership between the Office of the Mayor and the Coalition.

  • Hinckley is the new Director of Policy for the Leonard Davis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • At the conclusion of her fellowship on June 30th, Dr. Abaya will become Senior Director, Health Systems and Community Violence Intervention Integration at the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, while continuing her role at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia