Safe Neighborhoods

PICO affiliates have developed national models for creative approaches to crime, drugs and neighborhood safety that balance enforcement and prevention. Here are some examples of how PICO gets to the roots of the conditions that make communities unsafe:

Youth Violence Prevention

Over the past few years, PICO's statewide organization, Massachusetts Communities Action Network, and its affiliates have helped pass millions of dollars in state funding to help beleaguered cities and towns across Massachusetts. In 2006, MCAN helped pass over $20.5 million for job training, ESOL, and GED programs. In 2007, MCAN led a coalition of organizations to pressure the state legislature to approve an additional $13 million for youth violence prevention and intervention programming.

Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) has won support from city, county, state, and federal officials for their "Oakland Strategy" to reduce violence. After OCO led a successful campaign to pass a city ballot initiative in 2004 to raise $6.2 million for crime prevention and intervention, leaders from OCO have been working to develop an effective strategy for reducing youth violence. After researching what other cities have done to successfully reduce youth violence, OCO developed the "Oakland Strategy." The idea behind OCO's plan is simple and gets to the roots of the problem - study the patterns and dynamics of gun violence in communities and intervene on the street corners to bring services and job opportunities, along with strong messaging that the violence has to stop, directly to those persons actively engaged in the violence.

Community Policing

Congregations United for Neighborhood Action (CUNA) led a campaign to modernize policing in Allentown, Pennsylvania. CUNA leaders researched best practices among cities, visited model programs such as the CitiStat initiative in Baltimore and convinced their city government to adopt community policing as a citywide crime prevention strategy. The organization helped bring new police leadership to the city, pressed for a $1 million federal grant to upgrade computer technology and won Spanish speaking 911 operators to respond to the growing Latino population.