Among 6 Nonprofit Leaders in Oakland:
From Giving Back: Six Local Nonprofit Leaders Making a Big Difference –
“Marks first fell in love with Youth ALIVE! in 2005 when she was the city of Oakland’s lead planner for implementing Measure Y, the 2004 voter initiative that allocated money for violence prevention and public safety programs.
Marks was enamored by Youth ALIVE!’s precedent-setting Caught in the Crossfire program, which since 1993 has sent violence intervention workers to hospitals in the wake of shootings to counsel victims and their supporters. The program was started in 1994 by Sherman Spears, then a young man who was put in a wheelchair by gunfire.
“I thought it was so powerful this idea that you could connect with someone in that kind of moment and help them off a trajectory that could lead them to retaliation, or could lead them to decide to carry a weapon, or could lead them to join a gang because they don’t feel safe, or whatever it is, and use that moment to put them on a different path,” Marks said.
Caught in the Crossfire has since been replicated in cities around the nation, and it led to the formation in 2009 of the National Network of Hospital Based Violence Intervention Programs, which was part of Youth ALIVE! until last year when it spun off into a freestanding nonprofit.”