ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans on Wednesday introduced a new plan aimed at reducing the ongoing violence in the city.

Evans is proposing what he calls the Rochester Peace Collective, which would provide more funding to organizations already working to help community members.

Justin Ortiz runs Operation Go, an organization working to introduce kids to careers at an earlier age. 

Operation Go is just one of the community initiates receiving money under the mayor's anti-violence plan.

“In order to have an impact on youth, there has to be a significant amount of money put into the youth,” Ortiz said. "Our students have to be a priority in our city, especially with everything going on.”

The Rochester Peace Collective encourages collaboration between community-based solutions for violence.

Evans says the plan will act as a community trust to identify and provide community-based solutions for violence. The initiative will operate under the guidance of Victor Saunders, the special advisor to the mayor on violence prevention programs.

“If you’re a smaller organization with just one person it may be hard to coordinate with others,” Evans said. "What we’re saying is you’re going to help get those organizations and help them collaborate.”

Evans said $5 million will go to the collective, with the money coming from the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Mayor Evans called it an investment into the community, with money going toward re-entry programs, job training and conflict resolution.

“The prescription for peace isn’t found in city or just in public safety,” Evans said. “The solution to violence is found in the community’s most powerful tool, the people of Rochester.”

Evans said the Rochester Peace Collective encourages innovation and creativity to find solutions to the violence, something the mayor said is what makes it different from other programs in the past.

Wednesday's announcement comes amid a continued spike in violence and shootings in the city of Rochester. The RPD says 2021 was a record-breaking year for homicides and 2022 is on track to surpass that figure.

Recently, multiple Rochester homes have been struck by gunfire, with the occupants narrowly missing being struck. A 10-year-old girl was shot four times on Saturday while sitting inside a house on Moulson Street.