Sisters In Christ
Safe Zone (SZ) is a neighborhood-based hub that offers access to community resources and direct services under one roof. Based on a violence reduction service delivery system, Safe Zone addresses risk factors for primarily socio-economically disadvantaged underserved youth and families living in high violent crime neighborhoods. The project will serve 50 Raytown families with middle school age children and provide innovative, comprehensive culturally-relevant direct services coupled with a robust referral system based in strong collaborative partnerships.
Sisters In Christ • 6317 Evanston Ave. • Raytown, MO 64133
Raytown Central Middle School • 10691 E 59th St. • Raytown, MO 64133
Raytown Middle School • 4900 Pittman Rd. • Kansas City, MO 64133
Raytown South Middle School • 8401 E 83rd St. • Raytown, MO 64138
816-772-3398 • sistersinchristkc.org
2021 COMBAT Funding: $87,000.00
In Sisters In Christi's Own Words
Safe Zone is a neighborhood-based hub managed by Sisters in Christ that offers access to community resources and direct services under one roof. Based on a violence reduction service delivery system, Safe Zone addresses risk factors for primarily socio-economically disadvantaged underserved youth and families living in high violent crime neighborhoods. The project will serve 50 Raytown families with middle school age children and provide innovative, comprehensive, and culturally-relevant direct services coupled with a robust referral system based on strong collaborative partnerships with community agencies, law enforcement and municipal leadership. Safe Zone will focus its evidence-based services on youth and male family members including older teens and particularly fathers.
Strategies, Services & Activities
Violence prevention strategies utilized by Safe Zone include parent & family engagement; violence intervention & prevention programs; school programs; and access to out-of-school time supports. Services are offered directly or by referral which supports and helps stabilize families. This intensive wraparound and collaborative approach to reducing/eliminating violent crime in neighborhoods will produce long term results.
In 2020, during its pilot year, Safe Zone established service baselines by exploring and implementing processes, procedures and protocols with its strategic partners including developing clear and concise partner agreements. In order to continue a strong and viable collaborative and community approach to reducing/eliminating violent crime in Raytown, it is critical that Safe Zone be supported with the appropriate level of funding to continue and build on its initial work. During its second year, Safe Zone plans to expand youth programming, explore and offer more evidence-based programming and services in addition to Behavioral Parent Training (BPT), and implement new regularly scheduled services for families as outlined below. Additionally, due to the impacts of COVID-19, Safe Zone will virtualize many of its services and programs during the second year.
Through easily identifiable components including intake, assessment, intervention, resource connections, referral and follow-up, Safe Zone provides an individualized and holistic approach to addressing identified key issues of target families. Direct service and frequency of services include an initial intake assessment and post assessment for each client; weekly and as needed case-management; monthly and as needed home visits; ongoing 3-week anger management program; weekly drug prevention education, and as needed intensive wraparound services. Intensive wraparound services may include food assistance, transportation assistance, housing assistance, family reunification assistance, therapy, and case management / service coordination.
Safe Zone will work closely with Raytown School District to provide school-based interventions (therapy, case management, crisis intervention, psycho-ed groups) and Raytown School District Programs (college readiness, college access, coaching, and employment preparation). Additionally, Safe Zone will provide youth exposure to other enriching opportunities including after-school cultural events, arts education experiences, sports, and topic-based workshops/classes. It is important to note that Safe Zone’s commitment to culturally relevant services and activities and racially diverse providers/vendors is an essential aspect of this project. Of the three middle schools targeted under this project, the combined percentages of students of color (African-American, Latino, blended races, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander) exceed the Caucasian student population percentages in each school. These services and programs may be offered virtually due to the impacts of COVID-19.
In 2021, Safe Zone plans to expand its partnership with the Raytown Police Department to additionally include collaboration with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to implement an evidence-based model of violence reduction, focused deterrence, in Raytown. Key elements of the proposed focused deterrence approach involve using crime intelligence to develop responses intended to get ahead of or prevent new violence. This is achieved by talking to individuals close to violence, offering these individuals services, messaging to the community regarding these efforts and working on ways to boost further Raytown Police Department’s overall trust/credibility in the community. This focused deterrence program has three basic components (help, enforcement, community collaboration) as described below:
1. Help: Persons who are close to violent crime drivers or who are determined to be associates who may soon graduate to that life as a crime driver; these individuals will be engaged for social services. Social Services may include but not be limited to the following: employment and employment training opportunities; educational opportunities or HiSET/GED assistance; housing; transportation; mental health services; behavioral health support; substance abuse prevention/intervention services.
2. Enforcement: A review of crime information obtained from investigations of every violent crime in Raytown will be used to identify the most significant drivers of crime known as ICD (Identified Crime Driver) The ICD in Raytown will be developed based on police investigations of every violent crime. This list will focus Raytown police resources, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Jackson County Drug Task Force and federal agencies. Tactics include but may not be limited to: (i) Coordinate enforcement by all agencies sharing information on identified persons, updating information on a regular basis. (ii) Develop an arrest alert system that notifies law enforcement agencies when one of the identified crime drivers is arrested. (iii) Enlist federal help on specific suspects if that approach appears most promising. (iv) Use Crime Strategies Unit in Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office to supplement case/evidence building in specific homicides, also consider use of new transcription software to monitor Raytown violent crime defendants in JCDC.
3. Community Collaboration: (i) Message and organize community/business leaders to improve system of cameras in business corridors of the city to boost clearance/solve rates on robberies. (ii) STRIVIN’ meetings will double as community meetings to go over results and share successes/challenges as a variation of the COMBAT. (iii) Work with partner agencies, enlisting DART, to address problem residences in the city, where residents have complained about drug and other criminal activity that disrupted the neighborhood.
Sisters in Christ envisions that Safe Zone will assist with developing, implementing and managing the community collaboration component of the focused deterrence strategy
Goals & Outcomes
Though the Safe Zone project works with the entire family, the emphasis will be on youth and male family members including older teens and particularly fathers; and identified crime drivers. Safe Zone provides a comprehensive set of services to promote responsible fatherhood including the service needs of low-income fathers. To increase positive involvement of fathers in their children’s lives and to promote positive parenting behaviors, the range of parenting interventions to engage fathers includes but is not limited to evidence-based Behavior Parent Training (BPT), anger management programming, job training, case management, health and other referrals and services for fathers exiting prison.
BPT Behavioral parent training and supervision during schools off season will provide children with safe alternatives. After school programs help keep youth out of trouble which in turn keeps costs to the public down. The Safe Zone approach to help young people succeed is to invest in supports that help them including heavy interaction between the children and authority figures; providing access to culturally enriching opportunities and exposure to diversity in service providers.
Referrals will be made by a COMBAT-funded social worker for Raytown Public Schools. Case management referrals will also come from the Raytown Police Department’s focused deterrence program. Families may also self-refer.
These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a direct connection to COMBAT's Striving Together to Reduce Violence In Neighborhoods (STRIVIN') initiative.
Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition
» Hope Hangout
Hope House, Inc.
» Hope House's Targeted Domestic Violence Program
Mattie Rhodes Center
» Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention Program
Sisters In Christ
» Safe Zone