Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention Program (VIP)
Mattie Rhodes Center
The Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) program at Mattie Rhodes Center (MRC) focuses on promoting protective factors, facilitating multicomponent interventions and mobilizing community-wide strategies that mediate the risk factors of violence. The goal is to reduce violence and educate the participants in positive life-skills, conflict resolution tactics, cultural awarenes and community appreciation to instill self-esteem, hope, and purpose to the youth and families in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast community.
VIP targets three tiers of youth in the Northeast neighborhood; 1) youth under the age of 18 residing/attending school in the Historic Northeast, 2) at-risk youth living in a high-risk community, and lastly 3) youth who have begun to display delinquent behavior and are at high-risk of entering the juvenile justice system. .
Mattie Rhodes Center
148 N Topping Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64123
Mattie Rhodes Center is the home base for all VIP services. Youth Programming for grades K-12 takes place at this location during the week. MRC's wrap around services are provided at this location as well, with the exeption of In-School Services.
Frontier School of Innovation • 6700 Corporate Dr. • Kansas City, MO 64120
Holy Cross School • 121 North Quincy • Kansas City, MO 64123
James Elementary • 5810 Scarritt Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64123
Northeast High School • 415 Van Brunt Blvd. • Kansas City, MO 64124
Northeast Middle School • 4904 Indepenence Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64123
Scuola Vita Nuova School • 535 Garfield Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64124
816-581-5685 • mattierhodes.org
2021 COMBAT Funding: $129,165.00
In The Mattie Rhodes Center's Own Words
VIP’s comprehensive framework for positive behavior change is guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based four-level Social-Ecological Model (SEM). As part of this model, youth development programming will utilize evidence-based curriculum that is supported by SAMHSA, entitled “Too Good for Violence” and “Young Men’s Work/Young Women’s Lives,” and the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s “Soccer for Success” curriculum. We will also be implementing the “Youth Police Initiative (YPI),” considered a promising practice by the North American Family Institute.
VIP provides a comprehensive framework for positive behavior change, guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based four-level Social-Ecological Model (SEM). This model considers the complex interplay between individual, relational, community and societal factors, presenting the range of influences that put people at risk for or protect them from experiencing or perpetrating violence. In addition to clarifying these factors, the model suggests potential prevention strategies, conveying the necessity to act across multiple levels of the model simultaneously to achieve the greatest impact. MRC’s VIP program addresses these multiple levels through a continuum of care that engages three agency departments: in-school behavioral health services, youth development programming, and community resource and engagement.
The first level of SEM: Individual, identifies biological and personal history factors that increase the likelihood of becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence. Some of these factors are age, education, income, substance use, or history of abuse. VIP addresses these factors by building social cohesion, conflict resolution methods, life skills training, and higher academic expectations. Activities include out-of-school visual/digital art and recreational programs, in-school therapy, in-school crisis management, student intervention groups, as well as a youth advisory board.
The second level: Relational, examines close relationships that may increase the risk of experiencing violence as a victim or perpetrator. A person’s closest social circle-peers, partners, and family members influence their behavior and contribute to their experience. These factors are addressed through involving youth in pro-social activities to build self-esteem, enhance positive conflict resolutions and problem-solving skills, and develop healthy relationships while engaging in community activities.
The third and fourth levels: Community and Societal, explore settings, such as schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods where social relationships occur and seeks to identify the characteristics of these settings that are associated with violence. Prevention strategies include community service coordination, increased community development, and access to mental health and wrap-around social services all create a healthy climate to negate violent behavior and mentality. Additionally the Youth Police Initiative (YPI), works to break the cycle of mutual distrust that commonly exists between youth and police officers in low-income communities by encouraging youth to be authentic, honest, and open in presenting “their” stories. YPI promotes the sharing of goals and dreams, humanizing their relationships in a way that shows each other how much they do indeed have in common and lays the foundation of trust.
Youth violence significantly affects everyone in the U.S. daily, in all aspects of life. There are four categories of risk factors attributed to youth violence according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
1. Individual risk factors include the exposure to violence within the family, low intelligence, poor behavioral control, drugs and alcohol, inability to process information, low social skills, etc.
2. Family risk factors include broken families, parental drug abuse and/or criminal activity, dysfunctional parental involvement, extreme or inconsistent discipline, etc.
3. Peer and social risk factors include friends who are miscreants, gang involvement, alienation by peers, school failure or commitment to education, etc.
4. Community risk factors include low-end jobs, economically deficient neighborhoods, food insecurity, disinvested community, defunct neighborhoods, etc.
These risk factors come together in a number of ways for youth in the Historic Northeast. The median household income in the Northeast community is $27,887, and for some, their income dips below $20,000. Prior to the current pandemic, 37% of children in the Historic Northeast lived in poverty—nearly three times the state average and twice over the national average. There is a high need for support for children, youth and adults in this area due to a systematic lack of connected resources, resulting in poor health outcomes shaped by disinvestment, poverty, educational failure, violence and substance abuse.
According to the CDC, youth violence is a leading cause of death in the United States among persons aged 10 to 24 years of age. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young Black males and the second leading cause of death for young Hispanic males. This is a significant public health problem that affects thousands of young people, their families, schools and communities.In the Historic Norheast, 33% of residents are under the age of 18.
The demographic makeup is also very diverse, with 33.5% of NE residents being foreign born, compared to 3.8% in the state, and 52% identified as Hispanic (a rapidly growing population in the Northeast). Based on data from the 2019 Kansas City Police Department, Northeast Kansas City experienced roughly 851 Aggravated Assaults, 480 robberies, 1124 Domestic Violence Assaults, 56 murders and 489 Possessions of an illegal firearm and/or controlled substance.
These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a direct connection to COMBAT's Striving Together to Reduce Violence In Neighborhoods (STRIVIN') initaitive.
Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition
» Hope Hangout
Hope House, Inc.
» Hope House's Targeted Domestic Violence Program
Mattie Rhodes Center
» Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention Program
Sisters In Christ
» Safe Zone