Anti-Violence Group Comes To An End

Aug 9, 2012

Citing funding difficulties, an anti-violence community group has closed shop in Pittsburgh after eight years. But One Vision One Life founder and executive director Richard Garland is not giving up because he believes the need for such an organization is greater than ever, “simply because of a transient population, some housing communities closing putting people together who aren’t usually together, don’t get along with one another’s neighborhoods; Pittsburgh Public Schools putting some kids together that normally are not together.” One Vision One Life was a county initiative in 2004 and two years later became a nonprofit with much of its funding coming from the foundation community. However, according to Garland, the organization’s budget was cut in half over the last three years. “It’s a funding issue,” said Garland. “We’ll see how the funders are reacting [to the closing of One Vision One Life].” Garland, a former gang member from Philadelphia, said the organization had a good relationship with police. “Law enforcement would actually call us when they would get wind of different things happening in the community,” Garland said “and hope that we could get in front of it. You know our guys, our men and women, we could solve issues.” Garland wants to continue solving those community issues and still believes in the concept and is talking to other organizations. “I’m optimistic that we can craft something or there’s an organization out here that we can merge or partner with to keep One Vision’s mission alive.”