Connect Detroit Secures DLIVE Violence Intervention Program Nearly $500,000 in Funding

VOCA and Flinn Foundation grants add peer specialists, training, technical assistance and expansion of behavioral health services to program created by Wayne State Professor/ DMC ER physician

DETROIT– City Connect Detroit (CCD) today announced it has secured two grants totaling $470,000 that will support DLIVE (Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday).

“It’s crucial that we come together to break the cycle of youth violence that tears apart our communities,” said Dierk L. Hall, President and CEO, City Connect Detroit. “This critical infusion of funding will allow the tremendous momentum that DLIVE has generated since its inception just a few short years ago to not only continue, but even further its work in Detroit.”

DLIVE was founded approximately two years ago by Tolulope Sonuyi, MD, MSc, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a practicing Emergency Medicine physician at Sinai Grace Hospital, part of the DMC Hospital System.

The initiative is a hospital-based violence intervention program for young adults who have sustained traumatic injury from community violence. It provides psychosocial therapeutic intervention to young Detroit residents who, as a result of their injury, are at an alarmingly high-risk of being re-injured or killed – estimated at more than 40 percent.

Sonuyi serves as the Director for DLIVE on behalf of City Connect Detroit.

“With these grants, DLIVE is really in a position to flourish,” said Sonuyi.  “We’ll be building a more robust team, including doubling the number of Violence Intervention Specialists (VIS) and expanding our behavioral health services. It’s an exciting time for DLIVE as we are better equipped to service young adults who’ve been directly impacted by the pathological disease of violence. We’re setting ourselves up to be a very high functioning and sustainable organization in a position to make a serious impact on the public health crisis of community violence.”

DLIVE takes an evidence-based, health-centered approach to violence intervention. The program engages trauma patients during a “teachable moment” opportunity in the hospital, immediately following their injury. DLIVE’s team of Violence Intervention Specialists, led by Ray Winans, are the backbone of the program. They provide critical, time-sensitive crisis intervention, education, and health advocacy to survivors of community violence in the DLIVE program. DLIVE’s success rests in their ability to actively engage a difficult-to-reach population with unorthodox and nuanced approaches, while addressing key areas around an individual’s social determinants of health.

City Connect Detroit was approached to help raise dollars for the program, provide enhanced fiduciary and incubation services (training and technical assistance related to initiative management and collaborative service expansion, etc.) to ensure the program continues to meet its goals.

One grant was submitted to and awarded by the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission, and another the James and Ethel Flinn Foundation.

More About the Grants Secured

Grant 1: VOCA Grant – The Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission is making a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant for $270,067 to City Connect Detroit to support the DLIVE program. This grant is for one year, with an opportunity to extend it to three years, if funding is available and all requirements are met. The grant will pay for the expansion of DLIVE to include two additional Violence Intervention Specialists (VIS), for a total of four.

Funds will also provide training and technical assistance through City Connect Detroit, with the goals of helping the initiative to become more effective and sustainable.

Grant 2: Flinn Foundation – The James and Ethel Flinn Foundation has awarded City Connect Detroit a $200,000 grant to cover two years of work related to DLIVE. This grant will pay for expansion of behavioral health services within the DLIVE staffing team, specifically including evidence-based and trauma-informed Cognitive Behavioral Health (CBT) therapy to program participants.

About City Connect Detroit

City Connect Detroit is a Detroit, Mich.-based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that strives to address community problems by facilitating and mobilizing funding in support of collaborative community solutions. Since its founding in 2001, it has organized, managed, and led four dozen community change initiatives and mobilized more than $135 million in support of this work. These resulting collaborations have addressed a range of community problems, including the need for better data for decision-making, a lack of after school programming, the threat of home-based lead hazards and limited access to healthy foods and safe recreational opportunities. City Connect is also behind Detroit’s well-known youth employment program, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. The organization is located at 613 Abbott St., Ste. 310 in Detroit. For further information, call (313) 967-5898 or visit



Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday (DLIVE) was borne out of the recognition that violence is a pervasive cyclical disease process that continues to be a major public health crisis in the city. DLIVE is a hospital-based violence intervention initiative that exists to holistically work with youth/young adults who have sustained acute intentional violent trauma to achieve very specific goals.


  • Eradicate the future morbidity and mortality predicted by the initial injury
  • Prevent retaliatory violence
  • Prevent the future incarceration often associated with individuals who have been victims of traumatic violence
  • Actively facilitate a pathway towards success and prosperity
  • Active community engagement
  • Reduce the Community Toxic Stress associated with community violence


For more information, visit


 About The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation

 The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation is a Detroit based private foundation established in 1976 by Ethel “Peggy” Flinn and her brother, James “Jim” Flinn,Jr. Peggy passed away in 1994. Jim Flinn, Jr., who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20’s, led a remarkable life until his passing away in 2007 at the age of 91. The Foundation is committed to improving the scope, quality and delivery of mental health services in Michigan. Since inception, over $32 million in grants have been awarded. The Foundation’s geographic focus is primarily Southeast Michigan, defined as the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw.


For more information, contact Andrea M. Cole, Executive Director and CEO of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation at (313)309-3436 or visit