Civic Coalition to Save Lives

A Year of Progress

Civic Coalition Helping Support Efforts that are Bending the Curve on Gun Violence in Philadelphia

To mark the first year of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives, the founding members hosted a convening to update the early investors and key stakeholders from the civic and business communities who signed up to support the intervention-focused work.

The 90-minute program featured a panel discussion with leaders from law enforcement, community- and hospital-based organizations helping provide intervention services directly to those at highest risk of succumbing to gun violence.

The panelists represented key city public safety departments (police and district attorney’s office) as well several organizations that received funding and/or technology support through regrants and donations facilitated by The Civic Coalition to Save Lives.

You can read more about the panelists and forum discussion here.

From Left: Philadelphia Police Inspector Anthony L. Washington; Civic Coalition to Save Lives Executive Director Estelle Richman; Philadelphia District Attorney’s Gun Violence Task Force Director of Intelligence Danielle Burkavage; City of Philadelphia Gun Violence Intervention (GVI) Strategy Director Deion Sumpter; EMIR Healing Center Co-founder and President Chantay Love; and Temple University Hospital Trauma Outreach Manager Scott Charles

“This is our moment to look forward – this is our moment to build on the foundation that we’ve created, to grow and expand our solidarity around the topic of gun violence.”

Mike Innocenzo
President and CEO; PECO
Chair, Board of Directors; Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Founding Member; Civic Coalition to Save Lives

Civic Coalition to Save Lives Year One Achievements

Over the past year, the Coalition has helped expand the capacity, effectiveness, and coordination of gun violence intervention efforts inside and outside of government. Key accomplishments include:

I. The Establishment of a Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center (GVICC)

  • Coordinating gun violence intervention efforts across the City of Philadelphia
  • Providing trouble-shooting and technical support to community-based providers
  • Leading and resourcing fundraising efforts to bring more resources and capacity to the organizations serving very high risk individuals

The GVICC became operational in August, with dedicated office space and three full-time staff who:

  • Work to increase collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety (CJPS)
  • Provide strategic coordination of the City’s intervention programs and project management support for the Community Crisis Intervention Program (CCIP) and Pushing Progress Philly (P3)
  • Provide technical support and strategic assistance to a portfolio of GVICC partners
  • Ensure the successful implementation of a new pilot program with the Philadelphia Housing Authority to make emergency housing available to high-risk individuals whose life experiences traditionally make them ineligible for public housing

II. The Formation of a Community Safety Civic Resource Board to help provide funding from the business and civic community to help address resource needs.

  • Resource Development: The Coalition has engaged Fairmount Ventures to develop an actionable strategy for pursuing funding for priority needs identified by the City and the Gun Violence Intervention Coordination Center.
  • Resource Distribution: A Re-grant Fund was established to provide intentional flexible investment in successful programs to fund and improve capacity and coordination. These investments have supported organizations closest to the people and neighborhoods being most impacted by gun violence.

During the first year, the Coalition’s Civic Resource Board has awarded more than $700,000 to the following:

  • Philadelphia’s Hospital Violence Intervention (HVIP) and Trauma Intervention Programs (TIP): Temple University Hospital; Einstein Hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Drexel’s Healing Hurt People Violence Intervention Program; and Thomas Jefferson University.

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

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.

At the Coalition’s December convening, Comcast committed another quarter of a million dollars to the Coalition’s regrant fund.

III. Educating and Engaging Stakeholders.

Between monthly open briefings (first Wednesday of each month, register here), speaking engagements and dozens of meetings with elected officials, community and faith-based leaders, political candidates, media, prospective funders and other influencers, the Coalition has helped educate more than 1,000 key stakeholders on the issue of gun violence, the importance of intervention programs, the necessity of shared ownership, coordination, collaboration and accountability as well as current challenges, successes, and proven evidence-based strategies to combat gun violence.

[We] need these intervention strategies and this Coalition, and I thank you very much for allowing the Police Department to be part of this, because of the fact that it’s really making a difference.”

Anthony L. Washington
Philadelphia Police Inspector
Police Liaison to the
Civic Coalition to Save Lives

Community Drivers: Spotlighting the Intervention Work on the Ground

In Philadelphia’s relentless battle against gun violence, the doors to Temple University Hospital are always open, and, far too often, revolving, as gunshot victims who survive are at very high risk of being shot again.

Learn more in this Community Driver spotlight.

…the Coalition really helped us with a lot of logistical things that we needed on the ground and provided us with tablets for our teams so when we’re out there [in the field] we can record information in real time. In addition, the Coalition helped us to provide a lot of support for our participants…It’s been an incredible partnership.”

 Deion Sumpter, Director
   City of Philadelphia
Group Violence Intervention Strategy

Civic Coalition to Save Lives Answers Mayor Parker’s Call to Help Make Philadelphia Safer

In her inaugural address on January 2, 2024, Mayor Cherelle Parker called on all Philadelphians to “help make Philadelphia safer, cleaner and greener, with economic opportunity for all.”

In communications with the Parker Administration, the Civic Coalition to Save Lives answered the mayor’s call, pledging to help deliver on her vision for a safer city by bringing “every available resource to this effort.”

Members of the Coalition’s Steering Committee have communicated with Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel, Managing Director Adam Thiel and Chief Public Safety Director Adam Geer to update them on the Coalition’s work and to determine how we can best resource their needs and collaborate to deliver on Mayor Parker’s vision.

The Philadelphia Citizen Recognizes Two Coalition Leaders

In furtherance of its goal to “inspire citizenship, elevate those who embody the Citizen’s mission of solutions-focused action, and activate Philadelphians to make change,” The Philadelphia Citizen held an event on Tuesday, January 30th recognizing several individuals as “Citizens of the Year.”

Among the honorees were leaders involved in the formation of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives, including PECO CEO (and Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Board Chair), Mike Innocenzo, and Philadelphia Equity Alliance co-founders, Michael Forman and Ryan Boyer.

We congratulate each of the honorees for this recognition and thank you for your commitment to civic leadership.

The Civic Coalition to Save Lives’ accomplishments in its first year would not have been possible without the support of its members, including the in-kind and financial contributions of the following organizations:

  • The Barra Foundation
  • Citizens Bank
  • Connelly Foundation
  • PECO Energy Company
  • Wawa
  • WSFS CARES Foundation
  • CHOP
  • Comcast
  • Independence Blue Cross Foundation
  • Philadelphia Foundation
  • The William Penn Foundation