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If you haven’t already done so, try to define the places in your community where you will be focusing your work. Be specific. Identifying particular schools, neighborhoods, parks, intersections, and other locations will help you concentrate your resources where they are needed most and most likely to have success.

Try to define an area that is manageable. If you spread your resources over too large of an area, you may find you aren’t having the effects you want. Choosing the right location for your efforts may require listening and gathering information about a number of potential settings. Talk with members of your team and people in the broader community. Then consider the information you have gathered.

  • What type of violence is occurring in each of these locations?
  • How frequently does it occur and when?
  • What are you learning from residents? 
  • How is it being reported? 
  • What assets or resources are available to help your prevention efforts?

“[We focus on] neighborhoods where yes, they are experiencing high rates of negative health outcomes including violence, but also neighborhoods that have community assets.”  

- Tali, Program Coordinator (Boston)

Use the box below to create one or more locations where you’re going to focus your efforts.  If you’re having a difficult time narrowing down to a specific area, remember you can always add other locations as you start to see successes or have additional resources.

Concentrating on Specific Areas

Learn how input from the community helped coalitions focus their youth violence prevention efforts on particular neighborhoods.

Transcript with Audio Descriptor


The answer usually depends on your resources and partnerships. It is important to be strategic in your decision. Taking on too large an area may diminish your effectiveness because you are spreading your resources too thin. Communities can identify areas of concern, which might factor into your decision.

Not necessarily. Some teams already have the partnerships, resources, and assets to begin work in the areas of the community with the most violence. Other teams build their knowledge and collaboration by beginning in areas where youth violence prevention approaches are already in place or new programs can begin easily. Over time, teams often expand to other parts of a community.

Now that you have selected the geographic area(s) where your team will focus your youth violence prevention efforts, the remaining portion of Our Community will help you select data to learn more about the youth violence issues facing your community.