Some of Cincinnati's 10,000 nonprofit agencies and the United Way are getting serious now about quelling the urban violence that is killing and wounding the city's young black men.
The issue attracted serious attention in March when eight African-American men were gunned down during a 10-day stretch.
Those shootings prompted city leaders and others to renew calls for new programs to reduce the bloodshed. Ironically, those calls came while one of the few groups that help shooting victims - Out of the Crossfire - scrambled to find $60,000 so it could stay in business.
An Enquirer examination of area social-service agencies shows that only within the past year have they started to cooperate and expand programs for young urban blacks, the biggest group being shot to death and doing the shooting on Cincinnati's streets.
Of the city's 86 homicides since the beginning of 2009, 59 - or nearly seven out of 10 - were African-American men and 41 of them were in their teen or 20s.
Many reasons contributed to the lack of activity and cooperation among agencies in the past:
Some managers say their agencies must combat the attitude that black-on-black violence is not society's problem in general, but isolated in the inner city.
Nonprofits are wary of working with young urban black men in neighborhoods with a lot of poverty and other social problems.
Agencies, like gang and drug dealers, have their own turf battles as they compete for limited grant and government money to stay in business.
Some welcome the recent shift in the agencies' attitudes, saying the organizations have done too little to help black men for too long.
"Nothing's really happening. There's no one concerted effort. Where are the results?" said Dr. O'dell Owens, the Hamilton County coroner and West End native. "I pray for the day United Way comes to us and says they've solved a problem instead of asking for more."
(Hat tip to Black Electorate)