Safe Streets LogoHow does Safe Streets work?

Since 2007, Safe Streets Baltimore has worked to prevent violence and change community norms in Baltimore City. In our ten community sites, Violence Interrupters canvass the neighborhood daily and build relationships with high-risk youth and young adults to mediate conflicts and connect residents to resources. Safe Streets Baltimore also employs hospital responders to support victims of gun violence and facilitates school-based violence prevention programs to address risk and protective factors for violence among high school students. In all Safe Streets Baltimore programs, our staff work to fundamentally shift norms around violence through community organization and public education. 

Houses Hospital School
Community Sites Hospital Responder Programs School-Based Violence Prevention Programs
  • Belair-Edison
  • Belvedere
  • Brooklyn
  • Cherry Hill
  • Franklin Square
  • McElderry Park
  • Park Heights
  • Penn-North
  • Sandtown-Winchester
  • Woodbourne-McCabe
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
  • MedStar Harbor Hospital
  • MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
  • Sinai Hospital
  • Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts
  • Frederick Douglass High School
  • Renaissance Academy


Who are the Safe Streets staff?

Safe Streets Violence Interrupters are familiar with the communities in which they work and often have a history of involvement with “life on the streets”. This first-hand knowledge and credibility in the community are imperative to their success. As a result of their own lived experiences, Safe Streets staff are better able to engage the high-risk individuals who are the focus of their work.

Violence Interrupters are tasked with detecting, identifying, and intervening in activities that will lead to gun violence in targeted neighborhoods. Interrupters canvass the area daily and build relationships with the individuals that are at the greatest risk of becoming a perpetrator or victim of gun violence. These relationships enable interrupters to stay informed of all budding conflicts and mediate disputes before they lead to violence. Interrupters’ constant presence in the community weakens the allure of gangs and street life culture that often perpetuates violence.

Who does Safe Streets support?

Safe Streets participants must have at least four of the following risk factors, but will also be evaluated on a case-by-case basis:

  1. People talking in front of a homeGang/crew involvement; the participant is thought to be a member of a gang or crew known to be actively involved with violence
  2. Key role in gang or crew; the participant is thought to have a key role in a gang or crew known to be actively involved with violence
  3. Prior criminal history; including crimes against persons, pending or prior arrests for weapons offenses
  4. High-risk street activity; the participant is thought to be involved in a street activity that is highly associated with violence
  5. A recent victim of a shooting; the client has been shot within the last 90 days
  6. Between the ages of 14 and 25
  7. Recently released from prison or juvenile detention; underlying offense was a crime against a person(s)

What happens if there is a shooting within the target area?

People in a circle holding handsWhen a shooting happens, Safe Streets responds. Safe Streets sites partner with community members and local organizations to spread their message of nonviolence. Within 72 hours of a shooting, Safe Streets organizes a community response to call attention to the shooting and to urge community members to join together in speaking out against violence. Past responses include peace marches, midnight barbeques, vigils, and prayer sessions. Through this outreach, Safe Streets works with the community to prevent retaliation or further violence.