A look at Youth Villages’ $60M plan to curb gun violence in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Amid the gun violence epidemic in Memphis, Youth Villages stated it is starting an initiative called Memphis Allies which will work to curb gun violence.

“What we base our model on is three things: identify, connect and serve,” said Carl Davis Jr., the initiative director.

Youth Villages states the initiative will cost $60 million, of which $5 million has been raised.

“On our team, we have two outreach workers, three life coaches, a case manager and a clinical specialist.  That team works with eight to 10 high-risk individuals each day,” he adds.

Davis said all gun violence is committed by roughly one percent of the population in Memphis which he said equates to around 300 to 500 people.

He said they will offer a stipend to those who participate and the people working in the program will be those who can identify with the participants.

“The people who have been in gangs … the people who have been incarcerated,” said Davis, referring to the people who will work in the program.

Davis said they will not only focus on teens but also adults.

“The average victim and the average suspect in shootings in Memphis is 27 and 28 years old,” said Davis.

Davis said the program will be funded by public and private funds.