The Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center (MI-YVPC), based at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, is one of six National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Centers are funded to research youth violence prevention approaches, collect and analyze surveillance data, and foster relationships with local community partners to help develop, implement, and evaluate promising prevention efforts.
MI-YVPC partners with universities, economic development organizations, health departments, hospitals, police departments and community-based organizations to implement and evaluate strategies to prevent youth violence.
From 2010-2015, MI-YVPC evaluated a multi-pronged approach to reduce violence and create a supportive and healthy environment for youth, ages 10-24 in Flint, Michigan. The array of six intervention programs was designed to focus on the individual, relationships, or community. The array of programs was also designed to reach both low- and high-risk youth. Each program was organized or led by a community organization.
Our core research for the 2015-2020 funding cycle expands on our work in Flint by studying the effects of vacant property improvements on violence, property crimes and intentional injuries in three U.S. cities: Flint, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio, and Camden, New Jersey. The Center will focus on engaging residents, particularly youth, in caring for properties in their neighborhoods by mowing, planting gardens, or other “greening” activities. This work builds on programs developed by local land use organizations and previous research studies that indicate that caring for vacant properties can have beneficial effects on the health and safety of residents.
This research is a collaboration between the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Genesee County Land Bank in Flint, MI, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership in Camden, NJ, the Center for Community Progress, as well as economic development organizations, health departments, hospitals, police departments and community-based organizations in each city.
In addition to our core research, our faculty and staff lead survey, intervention and evaluation research related to violence prevention, school safety, and positive youth development.