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The Work of the Office of Violence Prevention

The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) was created on July 17, 2006.

OVP 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.

OVP coordinates with pro-social resource services, provides and manages grant funding and enjoins the community in problem solving. OVP offers research information and facilitates communication associated with best practices and grant funding opportunities to supplement local resources. OVP works with city bureaus, county, state and federal services, business, schools, and the faith community to provide consistent policy input, guidance, and advocacy to address youth violence.

OVP facilitates the bi-weekly Community Peace Collaborative Public Forum which seeks to inform community, increase communication and coordinate resources and expertise to reduce the many forms of violence, and crime.

OVP serves in co-chairing the Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council Youth and Gang Violence Subcommittee. The subcommittee is committed to collaborating and communicating across systems and with affected communities. The subcommittee’s vision is a violence-free, opportunity-rich future for every member of our community. Its mission is to reduce youth and gang violence, reduce related disproportionate minority contact, and lessen the disproportionate negative impacts of gang violence on communities of color. The subcommittee implemented and completed the Multnomah County Comprehensive Gang Assessment in 2013 / 2014. The resulting strategic plan was approved by the LPSCC Executive Committee in 2017. The plan serves to align City and County intervention and prevention programming based upon nationally recognized and recommended program models. All OVP programming supports and aligns with the approved plan.

OVP collaborates with communities and institutions to eliminate racial inequity. OVP supports the City’s 5 Year Racial Equity Plan through the facilitation of the bi-weekly Community Peace Collaborative Public Forum (CPC), additionally by serving as a stakeholder at the bi-weekly held Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative (IPAC) and other community meetings. Finally, OVP through the provision of grant funding and the selection of programming models continues to strengthen outreach, public engagement, and access to City services for communities of color, as well as immigrant and refugee communities.

Explanation of Services

  • The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) 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.
  • OVP serves as grant manager for the following pro-social resource programs: Street Level Outreach (SLO); Healing Hurt People (HHP); Trauma and Violence Impacted Families (TVIF) Coordinator; and Restorative Justice Program. The grant programs provide pro-social resources to at risk youth, and their families, creating an investment in Portland’s livability and economic future

Grantee organizations include: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Latino Network, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC), Going Home II, Somali American Council Of Oregon (SACOO), and Resolutions Northwest. These grantee organizations provide a multitude of culturally specific services to Portland’s youth and families through the listed OVP grant programs.

  • Street Level Outreach (SLO) workers build relationships with youth and their families with specific goals in mind: to reduce conflict and violence, to support and assist youth and their families in accessing social and educational services, while providing services as a mentor, life coach, positive role model, advocate, and mediator. SLO workers funded by OVP provide service City wide while coordinating services with SLO workers funded through TriMet and the City of Gresham. OVP hosts weekly meetings for all SLO serving in the Portland and Gresham area to assist in the alignment of services.
  • Healing Hurt People (HHP) is a hospital-based trauma intervention program that utilizes the national best practice Cure Violence. The HHP coordinator visits and provides resources and referrals to victims of intentional trauma (i.e., shootings and stabbings), particularly for victims of color, shortly after they’ve been admitted to the hospital. Evidence shows that this is when they are most willing to consider making real change. 
  • Trauma and Violence Impacted Family (TVIF) program is a multi-agency group that provides services to individuals and families who are the most susceptible to violence. The aim is to break the systemic family cycles associated with violence.  OVP is a TVIF stakeholder service. The TVIF coordinator connects client resources and need for resources with SLO workers, clients receiving treatment at Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and HEAT reentry program. The TVIF Coordinator is a member of the LPSCC Youth and Gang Violence Subcommittee and Multnomah County Sex Trafficking Collaborative.
  • In school year 2016-2017 to date in 2018-2019 grantee organization Resolutions Northwest Inc. (RNW) has provided Restorative Justice implementation planning and support at the district level of the Parkrose School District. The focus has been to offer professional development to administrators, teachers and staff to build capacity within the system to effectively reduce disproportionate exclusionary practices that impact students of color. In school year 2017-2018 59 combined meetings, trainings and events were conducted by RNW with school administrators, teachers, and students.
  • OVP in addition provides small grants, under $5000, sponsoring pro-social culturally specific programming for youth involving education, mentoring, and recreation opportunities.
  • Additionally, OVP has provided funding to the post incarceration / reentry program entitled HEAT (Habilitation, Empowerment, Accountability, Therapy) through Volunteers of America Oregon (VOA). The funding provides incentive for HEAT program enrolled clients, to encourage those clients to complete the 9- month program. OVP, Multnomah County Parole and Probation, and GIFT Coordinator are stakeholder services assisting VOA with the HEAT program.
  • OVP coordinates with the Multnomah County Court, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, faith and community leaders in providing court probation clients with pro-social mentoring meetings as a client elective. 8 probation clients have contacted OVP and been aligned with community mentors to date in FY 2018- 2019.
  • Since OVP has aligned service models and methods of service delivery through LPSCC’s Youth and Gang Violence Subcommittee a substantial reduction in gang related gun violence has occurred. The Portland Police Bureau investigated 193 incidents of this type in 2015. In 2018 110 cases of this type were investigated, resulting in a 43% reduction in these cases, many of which have involved youth of color as victims. OVP is continuing to research new pro-social service delivery methods which will continue to offer future reduction in youth and gang related violence.
  • OVP facilitates the bi-weekly Community Peace Collaborative Public Forum, the mission of which is to increase communication and coordination among services and community to further the development of solutions, interventions and prevention strategies to reduce violence.
  • OVP attends the bi-weekly community led and facilitated Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative (IPAC). IPAC’s purpose is to gather as members of faith, community, business, and law enforcement to discuss and create action to improving police/community relations and impact the criminal justice system at-large to ultimately ensure real justice for all. This is not a city sponsored meeting, for more information please contact Pastor Matthew Hennessee at 

Through the two listed reoccurring meetings community members enjoin in dialogue, while seeking solutions for the reduction of gun-related and other types of violence, better enabling OVP to match service to community expressed need.

Equity Impacts

Programming managed by OVP supply pro-social resources and services to communities of color and the underserved.

OVP observes 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, which is made available on the OYVP webpage.

OVP's grant managed programs provide culturally specific services to communities of color and those underserved.

OVP provides reoccurring community engagement opportunities for communities of color, while networking public concerns with public and private resources through the facilitation of the Community Peace Collaborative Public Forum. Additionally, OVP provides facilitation and or enjoins as a stakeholder in meetings or events supporting communities of color.

Civil Rights Information

It is the policy of the City of Portland to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income.  Such discrimination poses a threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Portland and menaces the institutions and foundation of our community.

Chapter 23.01 Civil Rights

Children's Bill of RIghts

The Children's Bill of rights was adopted by the City of Portland in 2006.

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