(Philadelphia, PA) – Temple University is committed to helping combat gun violence in the Philadelphia region, and now, thanks to a new grant from Fund for a Safer Future, researchers at Temple have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with individuals in at-risk communities to learn more about urban gun violence in Philadelphia. By accessing people directly involved in gun violence, the researchers hope to gain new insight into factors that contribute to urban street violence.
“The study will be carried out using a participatory action research model, involving collaboration with outreach workers in at-risk communities,” explained Peter Simonsson, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Professor of Urban Health and Population Science at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and lead investigator on the new grant. Temple is one of nine universities to have been awarded support from Fund for a Safer Future in 2023. The grant provides $210,000 in support over a span of three years.
“We are very grateful for the funding,” Dr. Simonsson said. “It will allow us to connect with people in local communities who regularly encounter street violence but typically avoid gun violence prevention and mental health programs, making them very difficult to reach.”
Gun violence in Philadelphia is the worst that it has ever been. By August alone, the city had already reported a higher number of shooting deaths in 2022 than many larger cities had seen, including New York and Los Angeles.
“The information collected through this effort will help strengthen public health interventions,” Dr. Simonsson added. The data ultimately could benefit public health actions that are aimed specifically at reducing injuries and deaths from gun violence.
About the Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Founded in 1901, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University attracts students and faculty committed to advancing individual and population health through culturally competent patient care, research, education, and service. The School confers the MD degree; MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Science; the MA in Urban Bioethics; the MS in Physician Assistant studies; a certificate in Narrative Medicine; a non-degree post-baccalaureate program; several dual degree programs with other Temple University schools; continuing medical education programs; and in partnership with Temple University Hospital, 40 residency and fellowship programs for physicians. The School also manages a robust portfolio of publicly and privately funded transdisciplinary studies aimed at advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease — with specialized research centers focused on heart disease, cancer, substance use disorder, metabolic disease, and other regional and national health priorities. To learn more about the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, please visit: medicine.temple.edu.
About the Fund for a Safer Future
The Fund for a Safer Future is the only national donor collaborative exclusively focused on reducing gun violence in America. Composed of 35 diverse private foundations and individual philanthropists, FSF pools expertise and financial resources to support advocacy, research, education, and community-based organizing strategies designed to reduce gun injuries and deaths. The Fund directly invests approximately $3 million a year across six priority focus areas, and its funding partners have made more than $135 million in aligned grants since 2011. Find out more at www.fundforasaferfuture.org or follow us on Twitter @fundsaferfuture.