The Office of Youth Violence Prevention was created on July 17, 2006. This office reflects priorities identified by City Council to build a more family friendly city and increase public safety, and reflects the emphasis on attacking the root causes of problems in neighborhoods rather than simply focusing on policing efforts.
The Office of Youth Violence Prevention (OYVP) is staffed by a Director and Policy Manager. Through these positions the office coordinates resource services, administrates grant funding to private non-profit organizations and enjoins in community problem solving.
Identification of Youth Violence
Portland’s gangs historically located in North and Inner Northeast Portland have branched out to outer Northeast and Southeast Portland with signs of graffiti, youth recruitment, assaults and homicides. Gangs are no longer isolated to geographic areas as in the past and are mobile across the city and metropolitan area. Gang membership ranges in age from 10 to 35, impacting the lives of males and females alike.
In 2005 a multitude of community leaders, police, gang outreach workers and policy makers were brought together to collaborate on a solution to eliminate youth gangs and associated criminal behavior from Portland. At that time it was stated that the City Council must seriously review available resource dollars and how money is allocated for this purpose.
OYVP offers research information and facilitates communication associated with best practices and grant funding opportunities to supplement local resources.
The goal for youth violence prevention is to prevent opportunities for violence to occur by connecting community and service providers dealing with at-risk youth and their families with the following:
• Prevention education
• Policy and community organizing support
• Resource identification and funding
OYVP works with a coordinating council, to include city bureaus, county, state and federal partners, business, schools, and the faith community to provide consistent policy input, guidance, and advocacy to address youth violence.
OYVP recognizes all rights within The Bill of Rights for the Children and Youth of the City of Portland and Multnomah County adopted by the City of Portland in 2006.