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First, let me just say, thank you! This has been a challenging time, and you have no idea how much your help has meant.  For all the little and big ways you’ve pitched in…thanks!

Your donations of time, information, referrals, connections, and relationships shows you understand just how important it is to make trauma-informed therapy and support services accessible in Chester and Delaware County.  Thanks to you, we were able to continue to address retaliatory violence through support groups, individual therapy, and connections to community resources. 

And these services have meant a safe space for teens to process the murders of their friends, grief, and maintaining connection while living through a pandemic.  It meant grieving mothers were able to connect to emergency food, gunshot survivors started their physical healing with access to emotional and peer support, and young children began to safely process the loss of a parent to violence.  All without having to worry about insurance and cost.

These opportunities may seem small to some, but you know that they are not. That's why you support us, and why the families and individuals we serve are full of gratitude for your generosity. You help make our therapeutic services possible-- ensuring that our families can receive transportation, that our staff is paid, and that we can offer emergency resources when needed. 

We want you to be an active member of our community, too! We will have opportunities for volunteers to experience the joy of advancing this healing work in ways that are COVID-safe. So keep an eye on our website or our social media.

Again, thank you! We love your support.

Alexia Clarke
Executive Director
 
SAVE THE DATE
Join us on May 19, 2021 from 9 am to 1 pm for a virtual conference:

Best Practices in Hospital - linked Violence Intervention: The Challenges for Delaware County. 

The Keynote lecture will be given by Dr. Rochelle Dicker, MD, Professor in Residence, Department of Surgery, UCLA, Board Chair of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention and Dr. Joel Fein, MD, MPH Professor, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, CHOP, Director, Advocacy and Health Policy in the Emergency Department and co-director, Philadelphia Violence Prevention Initiative.

Their presentation, entitled: Violence Prevention on the Front Lines: Caring Clinicians Coast to Coast sets the stage for a one-half day session to enhance trauma informed care.

This conference is relevant for any interested health care professional and is an opportunity to network and learn about community resources. Continuing education credits are pending for physicians, nurses, and social workers. For more information please contact info@chestercommunitycoalition.org.
A partnership to address violence

Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC), Chester Peace Initiative (CPI, a Cure Violence collaboration between the Ministerial Fellowship of Chester & Vicinity and Temple University’s School of Medicine), and Chester Community Coalition (CCC) are developing a partnership – a Hospital-linked Violence Intervention Program (HVIP)-- to coordinate care and support for gun-shot victims in Chester. 

Violence is an epidemic that disproportionately hurts young people of color.  The trauma of violent injury often has serious mental health consequences:  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse disorders, that persist long after the physical wounds have been treated.  Victims of violence are at increased risk for reinjury – studies have shown that, without supportive care, up to 45% of patients are reinjured within 5 years, and 20% are killed [1].

HVIPs work with gun-shot victims and their families in the hospital to develop a safety plan, to identify needs at discharge, and to prevent retaliation.  They provide intensive case management to connect clients with the services needed to recover from trauma, for example, culturally appropriate mental health services, employment, housing, and education support.  Case workers make home visits and accompany clients to appointments.   Clients receive services for an average of six to twelve months.

HVIP evaluations have demonstrated:
  • significant reductions in reinjury rates among participants
  • lower rates of involvement in the justice system
  • higher employment rates compared to non-participants
HVIPs have been shown to be cost-effective, saving money for both the health care and criminal justice systems.

CCC is grateful to collaborate with CCMC and CPI toward preventing violence in the City of Chester.

[1]  Sims, Deborah et al. “Urban Trauma:  A Chronic Recurrent Disease”.  The Journal of Trauma. 29(7) 940-946.  1989. 

 
Here is a video about the Wraparound Project at San Francisco General Hospital.  Dr. Rochelle Dicker, MD (who will be a keynote speaker at our program on May 19th) was instrumental in founding the Wraparound Project, in 2005.  This is what we aspire to.
People say teenagers think they're immortal, and I agree with that. But I think there's a difference between thinking you're immortal and knowing you can survive. Thinking you're immortal leads to arrogance, thinking you deserve the best. Surviving means having the worst thrown at you and being able to continue on despite that. It means striving for what you want most, even when it seems out of your reach, even when everything is working against you.”
― Francesca Zappia, Made You Up
 
The teen leaders at the Boys and Girls Club of Chester (BGCC) don’t just enjoy coming into the space at 201 E 7th Street daily, but some of them are up against unimaginable obstacles to make it there. When they show up, they are present and choose to take full advantage of all that BGCC has available for them. So, in March of 2020, after seeing the impact of COVID-19 and an increase in teen violence on their program participants, the administrators at BGCC reached out to us to get their teens support as quickly and safely as possible.
 
One of our Healing and Strength counselors, Lashira Council, met with the BGCC administrators to discuss the group’s needs, and how they could best be served in light of the restrictions at the time. A weekly, hour long conference call was established as a safe space for teens to talk about things that were important to them. Offered for six weeks at a time, the group is now in its third round, and teens are responding well, asking to participate, and excited to have an opportunity to come together in a way that so many of us can agree we need.
 
With topics ranging from music or political news, to the shooting deaths of people closest to them, the teens have used each meeting to process the things they may not be able to anywhere else and hold space for each other.  Some have been quite vulnerable, creating an opportunity for others to do the same.  Ms. Council continues to meld culturally-relevant topics with clinically-focused interventions and tools to meet the BGCC teens where they are, and help them determine where they want to be.
 
If you are interested in making a donation to fund
the work with the Boys and Girls Club of Chester or other programming, click our “Donate” button.

The Chester Community Coalition offers free trauma-informed programming and art therapy to children and parents in Chester who are survivors of violence. Counselling sessions are in the evening, so working parents can participate and are available year-round.

Click here to learn more about our work.

To do our work we need you.

Your support means we can offer free counseling for survivors of murder or violent assault.

We can offer individual therapy for those whose experience of violence is too recent for them to benefit from a group setting.

Your donations also mean:

  • We can offer families safe door-to-door transportation (via Lyft)
  • We can offer families dinner (safely pre-boxed)
  • We can send home craft supplies for remote art therapy
  • We can buy supplies for outreach, to start families’ healing journeys

For those who prefer to donate by check, please make check out to “Urban Affairs Coalition, Chester Community Coalition”, and mail to:

Urban Affairs Coalition 
Attn. Lee Wall
Suite 700
1207 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA  19107

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CONTACT US
        
 703 Central Ave. 
Chester, PA 19013
 (610) 368-0714
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