Buncombe County uses $2.5 Million in Awards to Address Community Violence

Press release from Buncombe County:

Following the award of $2.5 million from the Office of Justice Programs and American Rescue Plan Act, Buncombe County is launching a community safety initiative with public health components to bring healing and support where it is needed. Following a competitive search, Buncombe County Justice Services announces the following organizations will implement a Community-Based Public Health Response to Violence for the next three years: My Daddy Taught Me That, The SPARC Foundation, The Racial Justice Coalition, Resources for Resilience, and Youth Transformed for Life. 

“I’m excited to continue our work with these organizations,” notes Justice Services Director Tiffany Iheanacho. “I am especially excited for the new partnership with Youth Transformed for Life. One thing that stood out during the request for proposals was their strong commitment to collaboration and partnership. Each organization on this project will work collectively to achieve the goal of reducing community violence through healing, community leadership, and community wellness.”  


“The community can expect to see a coordinated effort to provide support and services to community members,” says Community Safety and Violence Prevention Coordinator Will Baxter. “We understand that people have basic needs and by placing trained community health workers throughout the County, we can begin to address some of the root causesthat lead to violence.”  


Abdul Hafeedh Bin Abdullah, founder and co-founder of CHASM, shares, “Buncombe County is blessed with many amazing leaders and community organizations doing profound work to prevent multiple forms of violence and heal community trauma. I’m excited that leaders in Buncombe made a choice to implement Community-Based Public Health Response to Violence, and I look forward to seeing it support with the optimization of community assets and increased multi-sectoral collaboration to build healthier and safer communities.” 


Kasia Maatafale of Mirrored Om Solutions, LLC will design and implement resilience resources and activities in collaboration with the team members and Resources for Resilience. 


KL Training Solutions founder Keynon Lake says, “Stopping the violence and community health work is the life blood and soul that can truly bring generational, transformational change to the city, state, and ultimately the country.”


With partnership at the heart of the work, project manager Jacquelyn Hall added: “We are so excited and looking forward to the partnership amongst our organizations and community. We know that we can only see real genuine change by listening to and working in and with the community we serve.” 


This work will also build on previous violence prevention work that My Daddy Taught Me That has done alongside SPARC, Resources for Resilience, Umoja, and the Racial Justice Coalition. This collective trained 99 individuals in trauma and resiliency, mentored 38 youths, and provided 28 adults with intensive case management to include workforce development, life skills, anger management, transportation, disability benefits assistance, and more. 

Technical assistance on this project will be provided by Community Healing through Activism and Strategic Mobilization (CHASM) from the Cape Fear Region. Core components of a Community-Based Public Health Response to Violence include training Community Health Workers as Violence Prevention Professionals, supporting youth leadership development, and building a multi-sectoral coalition to prevent and respond to community violence. Community-Based Public Health Response to Violence objectives are to promote violence as a public health priority and effectively demonstrate the value that community-based, community-led public health thinking and methodology offers in partnership with public safety, social services, schools, and other stakeholders to prevent multiple forms of violence.  

If you or someone you know has been impacted by community violence, please reach out to the Justice Resource Center at 250-6401 or fill out a referral form at www.buncombecounty.org/justiceservices 

About the Partners

My Daddy Taught Me That

Over the past decade, My Daddy Taught me That, under the umbrella of KL Training Solutions, has grown to be one of the largest youth organizations in Western North Carolina with an overall mission to provide services that positively influence the well-being of youth from ages 6 to 19 in Buncombe County.  


Racial Justice Coalition

The Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) seeks to achieve and sustain deep equity by building power to those historically underrepresented, dismantling policies and institutions that uphold racism, and reimagining a community where justice exists for all people.  Building resilience is important not only among community members, but also among our team.  

Resources for Resilience

Resources for Resilience a North Carolina 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to share practical, science-based tools designed to build up and support everyone’s resilience. Founded in 2017, they offer resiliency-focused community education and professional development programs to teach individuals, educators, healthcare workers, caregivers, first responders, and other helping professionals how to keep themselves and the people they serve safe, healthy, and resilient in times of stress.


SPARC focuses on social cohesion and access to resources addressing food security, transportation and employment support.  

Youth Transformed for Life

Youth Transformed for Life supports disenfranchised communities as they strive to succeed in an inequitable system. The ultimate goal is to cultivate a contagious community of compassion in which all human beings are guaranteed access to proper education, health services, safety, and economic stability.  


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Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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