The We CANN Champions program empowers young adults between the ages of 18-35 who are at high-risk for involvement in a violent crime through interventions that support job/job skills, cognitive behavioral therapy, recovery, and life coaching and education/certification in a pro-social relationship
environment. Participants graduate from the program within a 6-month time frame, but there are opportunities for engagement long after the program ends. We CANN Champions was modeled after AmeriCorps Youth programs and Youth Build but was specifically tailored to address the needs of
marginalized youth and young adults that are at a higher risk for interactions with the justice system.
Addressing Community Needs
We CANN Champions participants typically reside in the highest crime areas of the city (46208, 46205, 46218, 46235, and 46226) and are referred through outreach efforts, partners, word of mouth, and self-referrals. There are several root causes of both violence and crime that the program seeks to address,
including criminogenic thinking, trauma, lack of access to resources and lack of healthy relationships.
Staff and partners utilize trauma-informed and asset-based community building that supports the growth of individuals, families, and resident leaders who reside in communities adversely affected by trauma and racial inequities.
We CANN’s programs connect participants to therapeutic services that can address previous and ongoing trauma in their lives. We CANN Champions get access to a full spectrum of wraparound services and supports to address the lack of access to resources that often leads to crime. We CANN also creates
opportunities for Champions to build healthy relationships with mentors, fellow Champions, and the broader community throughout their time in the program and long afterwards.