ONE Lexington

While Lexington is one of the safest cities in the nation, we ourselves have seen a rise in violent crime; especially among our youth and young adults, creating a need for increased intervention and coordination to verify where gaps in our services may exist.

That is why we created the ONE Lexington initiative in the summer of 2017 to coordinate all our activities addressing violent crime – inside city government, and outside, with our public and private partners. To tackle these issues, we understand that the City can’t solve these problems alone. This work calls for our faith and non-profit communities, schools, neighborhood leaders, along with our City government partners to wrap all of our arms, hearts and resources around these issues in order to make a difference.  

Resources

Initiatives

We have created initiatives for youth and young adults to participate in. 

Learn more

Mission

To coordinate, leverage and mobilize City Government and community resources to reduce gun violence in Lexington neighborhoods. 

Vision

Making Lexington a safer city by reducing gun violence among youth and young adults. Using community-based intervention strategies to combat gun violence, while simultaneously addressing systemic disparities that lead to the root causes of gun violence. 

ONE Lexington Neighborhood Engagement Team

The ONE Lexington Neighborhood Engagement Team is made up of city government and community partners working together to enhance safety and quality of life in neighborhoods experiencing violent crime by realigning resources and developing sustainable services as needed/as able. The first neighborhood of focus is the Winburn neighborhood.

P.I.E.R. Approach to Enhancing Safety & Quality of Life

Using a public health approach to violence prevention, the ONE Lexington Neighborhood Engagement Team is using the P.I.E.R. strategy to guide our work beginning in the Winburn neighborhood. Our partners include neighbors and leaders representing the education, social services, justice, law enforcement, faith and health sectors. 

Prevention – Preventing conditions that lead to crime.
Intervention – Identifying and supporting youth engaged in high risk behavior.
Enforcement – Keeping the community safe through building positive relationships and implementing community oriented policing and enforcement strategies.
Re-entry – Assisting incarcerated youth and young adults with successful transition to the community upon release.

Prevention

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Communication and relationship building

Quarterly Community Forums – During ONE Lexington’s forums, we listen to the needs, concerns and feedback from the communities we serve. These spaces create a place for transparency between neighborhoods and the city agencies who are serving them. Upcoming forums to be announced. 

Let neighborhoods lead – Empower and encourage neighborhood residents to lead community efforts within that specific neighborhood. Long-standing, generational residents have lived experience and a unique connection to the place they live. City agencies should follow the lead of those residents when creating programming and providing services.

Mass media – You may have seen ONE Lexington talked about on the news or heard us on the radio. You can follow us on Facebook to see our latest outreach efforts.

It Takes A Village student mentoring program

The It Takes A Village student mentoring program is a weekly, youth summer mentoring program designed to provide educational and workforce preparation opportunities coupled with recreational activities, for Lexington youth ages 12 – 17.

Several community partners collaborate in engaging under-served youth with emotional and social skill-building workshops and fun activities where participants can bond with each other in a safe space. The workshops are led by various community partners and regional college/career trade institutions.

Trauma-informed practices guide our programs and initiatives by recognizing that trauma informs each individual’s life and behavior. Young Black men and boys experience trauma at higher levels than other groups of Americans. Studies show that trauma has health effects long into adulthood. Unaddressed trauma is both a cause and consequence of exposure to crime and violence.

Providing positive alternatives during the summer months can be a preventative measure addressing youth violence. Showing youth that life can be more than their current circumstance is a key component towards young people investing in their own futures.

We have transitioned this mentoring program into four in-school mentoring programs. Students interested in participating can email Devine Carama

Current in-school mentoring program schedule

  • Frederick Douglass High School | Mondays | 8:30 – 9:25 a.m.
  • Bryan Station High School | Mondays | 9:55 – 10:27 a.m.
  • Winburn Middle School | Monday | 1:17 – 2:07 p.m. and 2:11 – 3:01 p.m.
  • Southern Middle School | Tuesdays | 9:05 – 9:35 a.m.
  • Dunbar High School | Tuesdays | 10:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Henry Clay High School | Tuesdays | 11:25 – 11:50 a.m.
  • Lexington Traditional Magnet School | Wednesdays | 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

N.E.W. (Neighborhood Engagement Walks)

Join us as we walk through East End neighborhoods providing a presence to deter criminal activity. Our walking group has no enforcement capabilities, but we do connect residents with community resources including weekly food shares from Black Soil, Food Chain and the YMCA.

We use evidence-based intervention by occupying places where violence frequently occurs with positive community-based programming. The group assists in safely getting students to and from school. It also works with schools to address problems between students that may have started in school and spill out into the neighborhood.

N.E.W. meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. for evening walks and food delivery. And every Wednesday and Friday at 4 p.m. for Lexington Traditional Magnet School after-school walks. Interested in joining our walks? Email Devine Carama

Strategic planning and evidence-based approaches for long-term impact

ONE Lexington is committed to reducing violence in Lexington by focusing on the systemic root causes of neighborhood violence. We believe in community-based programming that will help those most susceptible to the cycle of violence.

We’re working with Cities United on forming a long-term plan that focuses on changing policies that create barriers in under-served communities, improving food access, limiting economic disparities, improving mental health and more. Cities United isn’t a one-size-fits-all model, but creates a plan that fits the needs of Lexington and its residents.

Intervention

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Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (HIVIP)

Lexington’s version of HIVIP is Safety Net and involves partnerships of medical staff and appropriate community agencies in providing services for victims of violent crime through safety planning, services and trauma-informed care.

The University of Kentucky trauma unit works with an in-house social worker to identify gunshot victims and families of victims who may need wrap-around services and support. ONE Lexington, in partnership with UK and other agencies, has provided help to victims and their families with bill payment, mental health resources, mentoring for juveniles in the home and more. Supporting victims is one of the most important parts of violence prevention and intervention.

Violence intervention work group

The violence intervention work group meets weekly, as needed, to discuss acts of gun violence in Lexington from the previous week. This meeting streamlines efforts between public safety, the prosecutor’s office, juvenile court, Fayette County Public Schools, victim advocacy agencies and more to provide wrap-around services for gunshot victims and their families.

Enforcement

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Police Department and Sheriff's Office

One Lexington does not have enforcement capabilities. Visit the Lexington Police Department and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to see the work they are doing to keep neighborhoods safe.

Re-entry

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Supporting youth diversion

Juvenile Treatment Court, a collaboration with Fayette County Public Schools and Fayette County District Court, is a voluntary program for juveniles in the court system. It provides a combination of case management provided by ONE Lexington, judicial oversight and mental health services to help set the youths up for success.

Community feedback

Reducing violence and increasing the quality of life in our community takes all of us working together. Check out ways you can engage!

Submit your information and include ways that you and/or your organization is willing to help through mentoring youth, mentoring incarcerated youth or young adults, leading after-school programs, providing transportation for youth and young adults to get to and from needed services, contributing financially to support neighborhood-specific programs and services, and more.

Submit your information

Youth Voices of Lexington

Episode 1 – Impact of Community Violence

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