SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the one-year anniversary of last year's tragic shooting in San Bernardino, philanthropists and community groups are coming together to stop the epidemic of gun violence in California and launch the new Hope and Heal Fund. The Fund will support a combination of proven solutions and big bets on new ideas that together have potential to stop gun violence and save lives.
Gun violence poses a major threat to the health and safety of California's communities. Over the past decade, gun violence has claimed nearly 35,000 lives in California. That's equivalent to the number of students at UC Berkeley. For too many Californians, the threat of gun violence is a regular part of daily life, and it is taking a devastating toll on families and communities across the state.
"We all deserve to feel secure where we live, work and play," said Brian Malte, director of Hope and Heal Fund. "Before our communities can thrive, we must ensure they are safe by addressing the gun violence epidemic in California."
Through investments in research, advocacy and on-the-ground programs, the Fund will tackle all forms of violence prevention, including violent crime, suicide, domestic violence and the socioeconomic conditions that make gun violence more likely. By sharing what works with all of its partners, Hope and Heal Fund will promote a culture of learning that matches the approach that many foundations support among their staff members, grantees and other partners.
Hope and Heal Fund brings together a diverse group of philanthropies, individuals and corporations that are committed to preventing violence in California. Charter members include The California Wellness Foundation, Blue Shield Foundation of California, Akonadi Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, Weingart Foundation, the Wintemute Family Foundation and a variety of individual donors.
"Gun violence affects all Californians and every facet of our work," said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. "Together, we can achieve meaningful change faster and at greater scale than we can do alone."
Specific focus areas include:
- Supporting direct services that focus on victims of gun violence in California.
- Advocating for common-sense gun policies – backed by the latest research – as well as the implementation and enforcement of these policies.
- Working with community partners to make smart local investments to address housing, economic development, early childhood and other factors tied to gun violence, including the stigma and harassment experienced by communities of color and LGBTQ people.
- Investing in strategic communication and identifying ways to reshape the state and the nation's narrative on gun violence.
"By taking innovative approaches to stop gun violence in California while addressing the intersection with other forms of violence, like domestic violence, Hope and Heal Fund will serve as a model to promote health and safety for the rest of the country," said Peter Long, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation.
On Friday, December 2nd, Hope and Heal Fund will host a #HopeAndHeal Twitter chat to hear directly from Californians whose lives have been touched by gun violence and share ideas on how we can work together to prevent violence in our communities.
About Hope and Heal Fund
Hope and Heal: The Fund to Stop Gun Violence in California is housed at the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) that conducts public-interest projects and provides professional insight and support to institutions and individuals seeking to learn together and foster change through strategic philanthropy. NVF helps donors and social entrepreneurs launch new projects quickly and effectively, collaborate and learn together and develop high-impact grant-making programs. The fund will benefit from NVF's human-resources support, accounting and financial management, grants and contract management and compliance oversight, freeing donors to focus on the mission of stopping gun violence in California. Start-up and administrative costs for the fund to stop gun violence have been underwritten with a leadership gift by The California Wellness Foundation. Learn more about the NVF here: www.newventurefund.org.
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SOURCE Hope and Heal Fund