We all deserve to feel secure where we live, work and play, but gun violence poses an ongoing threat to the health and safety of our communities. Every year, guns kill more than 3,000 Californians in places that should be safe havens. That’s why we’re bringing together a diverse group of funders around a common goal: to stop the gun violence epidemic in California and elevate community solutions that can be replicated across the country.
Hope and Heal Fund is taking a public health approach to address all forms and drivers of gun violence. We’re focused on preventing suicide, which accounts for more than half of California’s gun deaths. We’re working to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers because we know that guns make domestic violence even more dangerous. And we’re taking action to keep our neighborhoods safe so that young people can go outside without fear of violence.
Over the past decade, gun violence has claimed 35,000 lives in California. That’s equivalent to the number of students at UC Berkeley. In many communities, gun violence is a regular part of daily life. Meanwhile, guns make suicide attempts and domestic violence more lethal.
Gun violence affects all Californians and touches almost every facet of our lives – from access to good education, to economic development, to how we feel connected as communities. Before our communities can thrive, we must ensure they are safe. The success of every organization’s work is dependent, in some way, on solutions to stop the gun violence epidemic in California.
In the wake of the tragic shooting in San Bernardino in 2015, a summit was held to bring a diverse group of funders and community leaders from across the state together to talk about how to address the gun violence epidemic in California. The Hope and Heal Fund emerged from that Summit as the first California-based pooled fund solely dedicated to address gun violence.