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Caught in the Crossfire

Through Caught in the Crossfire, the nation’s first Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP), Youth Alive staff meet survivors of violence at their hospital bedsides to offer support focused on healing, safety, and to discourage retaliation.

About Caught in the Crossfire

CiC intervention Specialists–credible messengers of change recruited from the community we serve–address both the urgent need for violence intervention and the ongoing service needs of survivors, helping them get back to life.

Caught in the Crossfire History

CiC was born out of a need and a vision. In the early 1990s, Sherman Spears found himself wounded and angry in a hospital bed in Oakland, reeling from the news that he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. His loved ones offered him the only solace they knew: retaliation. Instead of returning to the violent life of the streets, Sherman invented Caught in the Crossfire, the first Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program. Caught in the Crossfire continues to be replicated across the nation.

Caught in the Crossfire Impact

clients served in 2023.
clients received California's Victims of Crime Compensation benefits.
clients received legal advocacy.
clients received mental health services from Youth Alive.
We know what trauma does to a city like Oakland. I live less than a mile away from where I got shot at, and where I lost my niece at, so everyday I gotta get up and see this environment. But if it wasn’t for Carlos, calling, checking in, making sure I get the chance to talk to beautiful positive people and speak my heart out, making sure I’m ok, I don’t know where I’d be. Youth Alive took care of me. They made sure I’m good.
Joshua, Caught in the Crossfire Client