Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance

An independent, neighborhood-based organization focused on preventing violence

In late 2015, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland stepped up its efforts to curb street violence by taking over management of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, an anti-crime initiative. The group had been operating as a coalition of agencies, including Guardian Angels, Peace in the Hood, Icons and No Return. Under BGCC management, the Peacemakers Alliance is an independent, neighborhood-based entity dedicated to maintaining peace and keeping young people out of gangs.

The Peacemakers Alliance employs outreach workers – including some former gang members – who have street credibility. The group is involved in mediation, gang interaction, violence prevention, conflict resolution, case management, family services and intervention following violent incidents.

Funding for the initiative includes major support from the Cleveland Foundation. Partners include the city of Cleveland, Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, United Way, NOTS, Mt. Sinai, Footpath Foundation, MetroHealth, Resilience Capital Partners, JDD, the Cleveland Indians, CMHA, Roy A. Hunt Foundation and KeyBank.

The Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance was founded in 2009 and represents five police districts throughout the city of Cleveland. Members are trained to anticipate where violent youth crimes may occur and intervene before it erupts. The alliance strives to engage the entire community to change behavior and recognize that violence is an ineffective way to resolve conflict.

Key services are:

  • Case management: We offer comprehensive social service support to ensure prompt, efficient referrals for services to the identified groups and individuals.
  • Outreach: We intervene at the street level by consistently monitoring individuals and groups in higher-risk neighborhoods.
  • Crisis prevention: We mentor youth and young adults, thereby reducing risk factors and increasing their chances for success. We also help monitor safety at Cleveland Metropolitan School District buildings during student dismissal.
  • Crisis intervention: We strategically coordinate support in high-risk areas to ensure a safe and peaceful environment. Staff members intervene in incidents where there is potential for violence to escalate. We also mediate conflicts and defuse potential assaults and/or criminal activity.
  • Violence interruption:  We have embedded violence interrupters at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center to counsel gunshot victims and deter retaliatory violence.