Minutes of the Virtual Meeting with IDHS-OFVP and Belleville, East St. Louis and Cahokia, September 7, 2022

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


via webex

Meeting Recording


  1. Sarah Stennis - from the office of Senator Christopher Belt
  2. LaDonna Nichols-Stepney - Teens Against Killing Everywhere
  3. Jackie Causey - Teens Against Killing Everywhere
  4. Representative Jay Hoffman - Belleville Cluster LAC Member
  5. Stanley Franklin - Belleville Cluster LAC Member
  6. Wyvetta Granger - Belleville Cluster LAC Member
  7. Evan Krauss - Belleville Cluster LAC Lead
  8. Senator Terri Bryant
  9. Christopher Patterson, Office of Firearm Violence Prevention Assistant Secretary
  10. Reshma Desai - Bureau Chief, Violence Prevention
  11. Awisi Bustos - Senior Policy Advisor


  1. Assistant Secretary Christopher Patterson welcomed everybody and opened the meeting by stating the meeting purpose which is to give updates on the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) Program and discuss funding opportunities under the program.
  2. OFVP and RPSA Progress Overview - Assistant Secretary Chris Patterson
    • Assistant Secretary Patterson gave context on why the meeting is being conducted. OFVP has been gathering information from all municipalities in order to determine how to better support and fund violence prevention strategies in the communities.
    • One of the recommendations from the LACs was to prioritize street outreach and engage individuals who are trapped in the cycle of violence. Asst. Patterson said the OFVP wants to support that work thru the Street Outreach Victim Services and Case Management Programming that will get to the heart of the root cause. The second part is having a flexible source for youth development or youth intervention which was initially rolled out thru the Teen Reach funding. However, though the Teen Reach program was a viable option, it wasn't necessarily a catch-all. Asst. Secretary said OFVP wants to make sure that when a NOFO for youth programs is put out, it will be flexible enough to meet the needs of the various programs and providers in the Belleville cluster. He added that OFVP understood that there is a need to address trauma and behavioral health in young people and in people in communities impacted by firearm violence. But he assured that funding for Teen Reach programs will continue.
    • Another recommendation is to address the root cause of historic disinvestment and figuring this out will need incorporating resources from different State agencies, not just IDHS and organizations doing this work.
    • Assistant Secretary said that technical assistance and training will be provided to providers who are getting RPSA funding.
  3. Programs and Resources Under RPSA - Reshma Desai, Bureau Chief
    • Ms. Desai started with discussing the Violence Prevention Services. The NOFO is open and the due date for application is on September 16th.
    • The second one is the Youth Intervention Services which is also open for application. She mentioned that Youth Intervention Services is intentionally made broad so that each community would be able to really see themselves in the application and propose something that actually meets their need. The due date is on the September 19th.
    • The third one is the Trauma Informed, Behavioral Health Services which is not open yet but will be coming soon.
    • Last is the existing Youth Development Services that has been open for quite sometime and will be closing on September 8th.
    • Ms. Desai reiterated what Asst. Secretary said that there will be future NOFOs to address technical assistance and training that the grantees will need as well as continuing to support the Local Advisory Councils. She added that the councils have been doing a great job in pulling together members and identifying needs and gaps and so IDHS wants to fund that work through a sort of Coordinating Council Grant. More information will come out about this.
    • Going to the LAC recommendations, Ms. Desai said the OFVP understands the importance of social determinants of health and how the communities want to address them. And so, one of the ways that IDHS will address this is by making sure that all grantees are very well aware of accessible IDHS services that can address root causes like economic needs, discrimination and housing, family, violence and food insecurity.
    • Ms. Desai followed through with what Asst. Secretary previously said about getting inputs and addressing those inputs with regards to NOFO applications. IDHS is assessing what capacity there is (from the applicant organizations) and see what needs IDHS is able to meet.
    • Assistant Secretary emphasized that IDHS makes sure it listens and be reactive and flexible to the community needs.
    • Ms. Desai continued on regarding using the results of the 1st round of funding to assess the capacity of service providers across Greater Illinois and ensure everyone is equipped and ready to start providing services as soon as possible. Asset maps will be revisited to see if there are any other gaps and possibly reissue or tweak solicitations.
    • She shared that IDHS is working with Ernst and Young to provide trainings and information that really hone in on the needed skills to be able to get through the data process and be able to receive state funding, while making sure that the grant application remains competitive. Also, technical assistance and training will be continually provided within the grant program through the TA providers and they will continually be community organizing as well.
    • Ms. Desai also explained IDHS' funding approach emphasizing the percentage allocations. After round 1, gaps will be addressed in round 2 making sure that percentage allocations are met.
    • Lastly, Ms. Desai asked attendees if they could spread the word about the funding opportunity or if they have any suggestions on networks that IDHS has not tapped. She also offered materials that can be shared to interested organizations.
  4. IV. Pritzker 100M Announcement to 16 municipalities to address gun violence - Awisi Bustos, Senior Policy Advisor
    • Awisi Bustos, Senior Policy Advisor clarified that the $100 million commitment that Governor Pritzker announced towards RPSA is not new or additional funding. Instead, it is a portion of the $250 million that was already committed towards violence prevention and RPSA throughout the State of Illinois. The announcement was made to inform communities that the State and OFVP are now making it available through the new NOFOs that the Belleville cluster should already be aware of.
  5. Local Advisory Council Report Out Community Asset Mapping and Recommendations - Evan Krauss, LAC Lead
    • Mr. Krauss started off by sharing his thoughts on the Youth Development Grants that is about to end tomorrow (application). He said that the reason why there were a lack of people applying really just had to do with whether or not people felt that they could meet the requirement or that the timing just didn't align to what they needed. He added that he didn't want anyone to think that there is no need for funding just because there is a lack of submission, it just had to do with the nature of that grant. He is hopeful that there will be an increased application with the other grant areas that have been released and the one that is coming.
    • The second thing that Mr. Krauss shared was that their organization has been promoting the grant opportunities. It was in their newsletter last week that has about 700 persons list serve. They're also starting to promote some things on social media and they are working on getting it out as well as doing some individual outreach to organizations hoping that it will drum up Engagement and more applications.
    • With regards to the asset mapping, they are building off of what they have already done. Mr. Krauss said that asset mapping is not new to them and that most grant opportunities require organizations to do it. And so their first step was to gather what has been done, see how updated it is before they put together some things. The other thing they were thinking about doing is applying a COVID 19 lens in the asset mapping to see what has changed and how the resources are being delivered differently, if delivery changed at all. They don't have a direct date on when they will complete it but they are hoping to make progress this month.
  6. Next Steps - Awisi Bustos, Senior Policy Advisor
    • Ms. Bustos started by asking everyone to continue spreading the work about the funding opportunities and encourage eligible organizations to apply. Further, she encouraged everyone to wrap up their capacity building to the best of their ability and ensuring that their organizations are well equipped to successfully apply and secure these grants.
    • Ms. Bustos also asked LAC members to complete the community asset mapping if they have not done so and be ready to report findings if requested.
    • Additionally, Ms. Bustos encouraged everyone to identify any large organizations in their communities to explore primary and sub recipient relationships with small organizations in order to ensure that community organizations are well equipped to apply and secure the opportunities from IDHS.
    • Lastly, Ms. Bustos asked LAC members to continue to hold meetings and to keep OFVP abreast of any pressing issues or needs that may arise.
  7. Questions and Answers- Assistant Secretary Chris Patterson (OFVP) & Team
    1. Mr. Krauss asked about changing the name of the organization (LAC) that was mentioned in the NOFO.
      • Ms. Desai said that since the LAC is not an agency that can be funded with a grant, it was a given the name Violence Prevention Coordinating Council in the solicitation. An applicant would be able to apply to that Council and the Council will just continue the work of the LAC but through some financial support to staff it.
    2. Rep. Hoffman asked if there are any materials on the opportunities that they can share in their social media accounts.
      • Ms. Bustos will send a tool kit with all the marketing materials after the meeting.
    3. Sen. Terri Bryant suggested to share the graphic to all legislators so they can share it as well to all their networks.
      • Assistant Secretary Patterson agreed; Ms. Bustos will share the graphic.
    4. Assistant Secretary Patterson assured everybody that the OFVP's office will always be open for questions and that he is looking forward to partnering with the organizations in violence prevention efforts.
  8. Assistant Secretary Patterson closed and adjourned the meeting.