In 2017, the Hamilton Community Health Network (HCHN) received $1,000,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. HCHN is partnering with the North Flint Neighborhood Action Council (NF-NAC), the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice, to implement a Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) Planning and Implementation Grant in Flint, MI. The project is named Illuminating Community Change, often simply referred to as IC2.

Initial Steps

Based on a needs assessment, neighborhood residents and stakeholders identified three geographic focus areas for the Illuminating Community Change project:

  1. The Pierson Road Corridor, where convenience liquor stores mark each of four intersections and attract illegal activity that leads to violent crime – sales of illegal drugs, weapons, and stolen goods;
  2. The Brownell Holmes neighborhood, a residential area plagued by both violent crime (187 aggravated assaults in the past three years) and property crime (250 burglaries from 2012-2015);
  3. Two adjacent apartment complexes (River Park and Ridgecrest) in the northeast corner of the target area where shootings, illegal weapons, and drug offenses are commonplace.

Current and future activities

The first year has been a planning phase. The U of M research team has been working with the community partners to create crime hotspot maps for the three areas, and conducting focus groups with residents and stakeholders from the focus areas. Michigan State’s research team has provided education on evidence-based interventions. This work will help inform the NF-NAC as they design and implement evidence-based crime reduction interventions.

The NF-NAC hosted a forum in March 2019 to further gain resident and stakeholder perspective on the possible intervention strategies for each of the selected sites for the interventions. This work will culminate in the development of the Implementation Plan, which will detail the partners, roles, and activities of the Implementation Phase. The second and third year of the grant will focus on executing the Implementation Plan. Michigan and Michigan State research teams will work together on the evaluation of proposed projects.