- Keeping Them In Memory                                        
- CCC Update
- In Pursuit of Peace 
- Five Facts About Murder in America
- Support Our Work

Keeping Them In Memory


                                            Date                     Name                        Age    
                                         1/18/2020        Dwayne Smith                 44
                                         1/29/2020        Robert Womack              79
                                         2/1/2020          Lasantos Saunders        30
                                         2/1/2020          Tahriq Doward                 29
                                         2/16/2020        Enric Wilson                    56
                                         2/22/2020        Randy Maultsby              23
                                         3/2/2020          Dwayne Briscoe              16
                                         3/3/2020          Dyshan Swingon             24
                                         3/10/2020        Edward Harmon             15
                                         3/10/2020        Tayvonne Avery              15

                    3/18/2020       Ahmad Anding                28

The first months of this year have seen too many lives ended too soon. We keep these names in memory, and pray for comfort for their mourning families. 

Chester Community Coalition offers 12-week programs, starting in February and October, for families who have lost loved ones to violence. There are also on-going support groups for assault victims and their caregivers.

In addition, counselors from the Chester Community Coalition are working with groups of young people in schools and community organizations who are grieving for the loss of their friends.

It is normal for trauma and grief to have strong effects on children and grownups: flash-backs, disturbing dreams, anger, being “super-alert” and jumpy, or having trouble sleeping. Counseling can help people manage trauma reactions and reminder. People identify ways to heal and remember their loved ones.           

Coronavirus Update

Shiloh Baptist Church, our very supportive and gracious landlord, will be closed for deep cleaning through March 30th at the earliest.  We are considering options to keep in touch with participating families during that time, including counseling by secure, HIPAA-compliant conference lines.  We can be reached at (610) 368-0714. 
Praying for the health and safety of the whole community.

We were grateful to learn in December that the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Foundation would fund art group for 4 to 7- year-olds bereaved by violence.

The table below shows the number of participants in CCC’s program for bereaved families, in assault survivor support groups, and in case management. The bereavement group almost doubled from Spring to Fall 2019, but the assault survivors support group enrollment fell. Case management and work with the kids at Making a Change came on line, bringing Fall 2019 up 6% from Spring 2019.

(left to right):  Jessica Davis, art therapy aide, Natasha Serrano, LCSW, Alex Johnson, ATR-BC, LPC, Erika Dawkins PsyD, MEd,  Anneka Vanderveen, LSW. (Not shown:  Shakyra Morales,  LSW, Doug Ford, LSW, LaShira Council, LPC)

We are in the process of hiring an outreach assistant to better cover community events and improve recruitment.

Although we have not yet reached our goal of 80% attendance, there has been steady improvement:

Fall 2018: 41%
Spring 2019: 56%
Fall 2019: 64%

Our intern from Widener University’s School of Social Work has done a great job providing case management. Although several additional families recently requested case management support, she needs to wrap up work with her current client families before the end of her practicum, in April. We are recruiting a master’s-level intern for next fall, and also working on funding for a full-time social worker, who would be able to supplement the work of the interns.

Wrapping up the Fall 2019 session of Healing and Stength (for bereaved families), the kids made (what else?) – slime!
And one of the ladies completing the Restoring Hope support group posed proudly with her certificate, saying: “Yes, I was victimized, but I’m nobody’s victim”.

In Pursuit of Peace: 
Building Police-Community Trust to Break the Cycle of Violence

Five Facts About Murder in America

Most homicides occur in geographically concentrated areas within our cities. In 2015, more than a quarter of gun homicides occurred in neighborhoods with 1.5% of the US population. Together, these neighborhoods would cover an area smaller than Green Bay, WI.

Most homicides are perpetrated by a very small percentage of the population. “Street groups” comprise less than 0.6% of a city’s population, with an even smaller percentage actually perpetrating violent crime. It is a myth that low- income neighborhoods of color have a “culture of violence” or tolerate violence more than wealthier neighborhoods.

African Americans make up more than half of all homicide victims in the US. Black men comprise less than 7% of the US population but 51% of gun homicide victims.

More than half of homicides of black Americans don’t lead to an arrest. In Chester 70% of homicides 2015-2019 went unsolved.

Many violent crimes across the US are never reported. Nationwide, 29% of Americans who were seriously injured in violent crimes involving weapons did not report that crime to the police.

A cycle of distrust and violence:

  • All too often, over-enforcement of minor infractions erodes trust in law enforcement.

  • Lack of community trust makes it harder for law enforcement to do its job

  • Law enforcement fails to protect residents from shootings and homicides.

  • Young men seek protection in groups and are more likely to pursue retributive justice

  • A small percentage of community members drive up homicide rates

Through community policing efforts and trust-building, Camden, NJ went from 67 homicides in 2012 to 22 in 2018.

Your support allows us to offer participant families safe, door to door transportation (via Lyft), and supper, shared with counselors and volunteers. Donations pay for extra therapists’ time in the schools and in community organizations. Donations support community outreach.

Violence is contagious; trauma is its vector. Helping more people understand the effects of trauma – flashbacks, nightmares, trouble sleeping and concentrating, self-medication with drugs and alcohol – will reduce violence.

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

 703 Central Ave. 
Chester, PA 19013
 (610) 368-0714
Copyright © 2020 Chester Community Coalition, All rights reserved.

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