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Community Health Workers

Community Health Worker Peers talking

In 2015, the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice received funding from the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) to participate in the “Supporting Male Survivors of Violence Demonstration Initiative”. Designed to promote creative ways to support young men healing from trauma, this OVC grant funds two primary pilot projects at the Center- the Community Health Worker Peer (CHWP) project and the SELF Community Conversations project.

Community Health Worker Peer

The Community Health Worker Peer project (CHWP) is the development of a training and employment program for CHWPs, some of whom will work within the HHP program to support participants in their recovery. A combination of traditional Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists, the CHWPs will be trained to work with both individuals and the broader community to promote healing from trauma due to intentional interpersonal injury and violence.

The CHWPs trained in this pilot project will be young men (ages 18-30) with lived experience of violence. They are particularly well placed to impact trauma-informed healing and building resilience, as they are both in and of the communities they serve.

We are actively engaging other trauma-focused providers in conversations about how to employ CHWPs in their facilities. We plan to have the first round of training for CHWPs begin in Spring 2017, and will have a second training cohort in Spring of 2018.

SELF Community Conversations

The SELF Community Conversations project focuses on supporting outreach to people in the community who are impacted by intentional injury and violence, but are not currently involved with Healing Hurt People. Entitled SELF Community Conversations, these 10 week groups are guided forums for trauma-informed education and empowerment.

The goal of these Conversations is to build trauma-informed resources and resilience on both an individual and neighborhood level. They are designed to be based in the community and facilitated by trained individuals who have lived experience of violence.

We will be co-facilitating SELF Community Conversations in neighborhood health clinics, community centers, schools- anywhere that is interested in promoting trauma-informed supports. As the program grows, we will be expanding to other types of community outreach, including trauma education and collaboration with other neighborhood-based initiatives.