PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There is a new hope for the south side of Peoria.

House of Hope was chosen by the Peoria City/County Health Department Monday night to be the Cure Violence agency on the city’s south side.

Executive Director Terry Burnside was “ecstatic” about the selection and eager to get to work. He is glad to see support for grassroots organizations.

“We’re not historically the type of entities to get a plethora of resources to help us move the needle and address the violence, so kudos to the health department for allowing us to be able to help our community,” he said.

Burnside explained how the organization uses a proactive approach to ending violence in the city. He said building relationships with the community is particularly important.

“We have a problem in the city of Peoria,” Burnside continued, “less than 1% of our city’s population is driving 90% of the violence, so by us having a leg up as I like to say in respect to House of Hope Peoria, we have those relationships with individuals.”

Cure Violence is now represented on the south side, but the East Bluff is still without an agency after Peoria Community Against Violence (PCAV) dropped out due to funding issues.

Zion Baptist Church Pastor and County Board of Health member Samuel Duren hopes the good work done on the south side will correspond to the East Bluff.

“Hopefully it’ll encourage more people to support, and it’s a sign that we’re doing something, there’s actions being made and hopefully we can get boots on the ground and start seeing evidence of this,” he said.

Cure Violence Global is an initiative which treats violence as a health issue, hence the health department’s involvement. The initiative has a strong dependence on community organizations to be key players in the ending of violence.