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TRUsted rEsidents and Housing Assistance to decrease Violence Exposure in New Haven (TRUE HAVEN): A strengths-based and community-driven stepped-wedge intervention to reduce gun violence.

Research Square 2023 May 11
Background We describe the rationale and study design for " TRU sted r Esidents and H ousing A ssistance to decrease V iolence E xposure in N ew Haven (TRUE HAVEN)," a prospective type 1 hybrid effectiveness/implementation study of a multi-level intervention using a stepped wedge design. TRUE HAVEN aims to lower rates of community gun violence by fostering the stability, wealth, and well-being of individuals and families directly impacted by incarceration through the provision of stable housing and by breaking the cycle of trauma. Design: TRUE HAVEN is a multi-level intervention with three primary components: financial education paired with housing support (individual level), trauma-informed counseling (neighborhood level), and policy changes to address structural racism (city/state level). Six neighborhoods with among the highest rates of gun violence in New Haven, Connecticut, will receive the individual and neighborhood level intervention components sequentially beginning at staggered 6-month steps. Residents of these neighborhoods will be eligible to participate in the housing stability and financial education component if they were recently incarcerated or are family members of currently incarcerated people; participants will receive intense financial education and follow-up for six months and be eligible for special down payment and rental assistance programs. In addition, trusted community members and organization leaders within each target neighborhood will participate in trauma-informed care training sessions to then be able to recognize when their peers are suffering from trauma symptoms, to support these affected peers, and to destigmatize accessing professional mental health services and connect them to these services when needed. Finally, a multi-stakeholder coalition will be convened to address policies that act as barriers to housing stability or accessing mental healthcare. Interventions will be delivered through existing partnerships with community-based organizations and networks. The primary outcome is neighborhood rate of incident gun violence. To inform future implementation and optimize the intervention package as the study progresses, we will use the Learn As You Go approach to optimize and assess the effectiveness of the intervention package on the primary study outcome. Discussion Results from this protocol will yield novel evidence for whether and how addressing structural racism citywide leads to a reduction in gun violence. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05723614. Registration date: February 01, 2023.

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