Categorized | National News

Urban Renewal Joins Forces With Support Group

A new partnership between the Urban Renewal Programme and a local crime counselling support group is the newest effort by police to assist with cushioning the blow of crime in the country.

On Wednesday, Urban Renewal announced its partnership with The Family: People Helping People, whose goal is to assist police with counseling efforts for the family members of murdered victims and serious crimes.

Director and Founder of The Family, Dr. David Allen, who is also the host of the People Helping People TV programme, said for the past six years The Family has been meeting, bringing relief to victims and the families of crime victims.

“The purpose of The Family is to provide a safe, secure and confidential environment where group members can begin to heal their broken relationships with their family and community,” he said.

“The primary goal is to improve socialisation despite high crime, family disintegration and economic impoverishment in the community.”

Director of the National Crime Prevention Office Superintendent Stephen Dean said this partnership is a historic one as for a long time police have solely been the ones counseling victims.

“Our team now has been strengthened by the injection of Defence Force officers who bring in tremendous talents but we can only go so far because we are not the professionals that is why we sought to partner with a community based organisation.

“They offer the counseling and in some cases they offer counseling to us the officer because we are exposed to some dire situations. This is a whole picture where the whole man is being catered to.”

Dr. Allen said so far the programme has enlisted victims of crime from Bain Town and Grants Town, Englerston, Kemp Road, Fox Hill and Gambier and are working to move into the Carmichael, Nassau Village and Pinewood Gardens areas.

“Our hope is that by having qualified counselors in Urban Renewal areas we will work along with the police so when people are hurt or traumatised we can intervene,” Dr. Allen added. “The programme involves a group process, psychodrama, role playing, storytelling, affective learning, psychological photography, centering, silent meditation, social events, community service and spiritual direction.”

President of The Family Denise Christie said she joined the organisation because she, too, encountered some traumatising situations and knows all too well what it is like to feel helpless.

“I joined the group and after hearing other people’s stories I just spilled everything,” she said. “As I told my story so many people identified with me and I felt like a weight was lifted.”

“It was loving; it was comfortable and that’s what I needed. This is what I now want to give to people who are going through trauma and loss.”

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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