published Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Chattanooga to release new request for proposals to coordinate social service for violence reduction effort

The City of Chattanooga is expected to release a new request for proposals before the end of the week in the effort to find a coordinator of social services for its violence reduction initiative, city spokeswoman Lacie Stone said today.

And Paul Green, executive director of Hope for the Inner City, met with the city's Public Safety Coordinator Paul Smith on Monday to discuss the program. The meeting came three days after the city cut ties with an organization that was set to spearhead the initiative's outreach efforts.

Hope for the Inner City is already involved in the social services side of the VRI and the local nonprofit ministry is likely to submit a proposal to coordinate the social services, Stone said.

A Better Tomorrow, led by Richard Bennett, was the only organization that responded to a previous request for proposals and offered a detailed plan with a $329,100 budget.

But on Friday Bennett was charged with possession of a controlled substance and violating the open container law, and the city cut ties with him.

This came after Bennett's phone number at A Better Tomorrow had been distributed to offenders across the city in the early stages of the initiative's efforts to offer a way out of the violent lifestyle to gang members.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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