With funding from Public Safety Canada, the CeaseFire program operated in the northern HRM region under the Cure Violence model developed out of Chicago. A staff of youth workers reached out to and worked with young African Nova Scotian youth aged 16-24 who had been involved with the law and/or were involved in or at risk of gun violence. In adopting an Africentric approach, the program also worked to instill cultural importance in the youth alongside the Cure Violence model’s strategy.
CeaseFire in the HRM – Building a Nova Scotian Approach (CeaseFire) was a four-year pilot project funded by Public Safety Canada that targeted high-risk youth and young adults aged 16-24 of African Nova Scotian heritage who were involved in or at risk of gun violence. Of the program’s 101 clients, 54% were designated as high-risk. CeaseFire used a three-part strategy of violence interruption, outreach work, and community mobilization, as well as an Africentric approach, to address issues of interpersonal violence in Dartmouth and surrounding Northern Halifax regions.
The RRC conducted a four-year evaluation from October 2013 to December 2017 using mixed-methods and cost-analysis assessment with a pre-, mid-, and post-test design. Quantitative data were collected from a compendium of self-report measures completed by CeaseFire clients, and qualitative data were collected from interviews and focus groups with CeaseFire youth participants, staff members, and stakeholders, and a review of CeaseFire client records. The comparative case studies methodology was also utilized in this evaluation, which involved an analysis and comparison of specific clients’ quantitative and qualitative data to compare patterns, and offer reasons for why the intervention worked or failed to work among certain individuals.