SF Chronicle looks at surge –
This San Francisco Chronicle piece by reporter Susie Neilson includes vast amounts of historic and national data on gun violence as well as commentary from our ED, Anne Marks, Brian Malte of the Hope & Heal Fund and Rev. Damita Davis-Howard, coordinator of Oakland Ceasefire. Here’s some of what Anne had to say:
Anne Marks, executive director of Youth Alive, said the pandemic has made it next to impossible for her organization’s staff to do the kind of direct, interpersonal violence intervention that helped drive down the Bay Area’s gun homicide rates by 30% from 2007 to 2017.
“None of us could do our work,” she said. “Or we could do our work, but not in the way our work works.”
For instance, one of the organization’s flagship programs, Caught in the Crossfire, directly focuses on youths who have recently been shot and are recovering in the hospital. Trained specialists that have also experienced gun violence visit the hospital and speak at length with the young person about how they can recover from the incident and get their life back on track. But for the first year of the pandemic, Marks noted, rules around hospital visits made this program impossible. And now, with masking and other strict rules about social interaction, it’s “just weird,” she said.