The City of Gainesville is launching a community-based engagement strategy called IMPACT GNV as the next step in citywide efforts to prevent gun violence. The new initiative will connect neighbors experiencing on-the-ground needs with city and community resources that can help. The goal is to leverage valuable communitywide collaborations to maximize the program’s impact.

IMPACT GNV was developed under the direction of City Manager Cynthia W. Curry in accordance with the policy direction set by the Gainesville City Commission. Administered by Community Health Director Brandy Stone and Gun Violence Intervention Program Manager Brittany Coleman, the initiative pulls a number of programs under a unified banner. It also moves quickly to put boots on the ground, working with neighborhoods, schools, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, grassroots advocates and formerly justice-involved individuals, among other partners.

Anchoring these efforts are two key collaborations designed to extend city efforts into the broader community. To maximize and leverage resources, four staff members of B.O.L.D. (Brave, Overt Leaders of Distinction), previously housed within the Gainesville Police Department, will provide support to gun-violence prevention and intervention efforts. They will serve on special assignment under Gainesville Fire Rescue Chief Joe Dixon in his role as special advisor to the city manager on matters of public health and public safety.

The second collaboration is a partnership with the Willie Mae Stokes Community Center, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that serves the youth of Alachua County, Gainesville and surrounding communities through community events, outreach and mentoring programs.

“We are pleased to announce the city is entering a contract that will enable the center, led by Bishop Christopher Stokes, to build a new network of Violence Interrupter Partners,” said Gainesville City Manager Cynthia W. Curry. “With more than two decades engaging young people through community outreach and mentoring programs, Bishop Stokes is uniquely qualified to work with us as we reduce violence through these targeted strategies.”

IMPACT GNV is partially funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Staff will pursue grants to support gun violence prevention and intervention programs.

  • Improve Access to mental health services, social support, and the arts
  • Mobilize and enhance existing community-based services and groups
  • Prioritize public health and safety efforts in areas most impacted by gun violence
  • Analyze gun violence data
  • Center youth
  • Track progress