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How it Works

When a young person between the ages of 8 and 18 comes into the hospital with a gunshot wound, stab wound, or assault, Healing Hurt People (HHP) is there to provide help. HHP addresses the physical, emotional, and social needs of young people after they are released from the hospital and helps them to resume their lives in the communities where they were injured. The ultimate goal of the program is to break the cycle of trauma and violence that can trap these youth, particularly young men of color, and hinder their progress.

To meet these goals, HHP’s model includes three main program components:


Before discharge, or in the 24 hours after injury, HHP staff verifies that the client has a safe place to go, offers referral services, and advises the client about likely traumatic-stress symptoms. If the client enrolls in HHP, a staff member will do a more complete assessment to understand the client’s wants, desires and goals.

Case Management in the Community

HHP staff follow up through phone calls and home visits to offer ongoing case management services to facilitate clients’ access to follow-up medical care, primary care, education, employment, and legal help. A key goal is to help the client deal with the symptoms that often come on after an injury, like flashbacks, nightmares, jumpiness, sleeplessness, anger, and difficulty concentrating.

Counseling & Structured Peer Support.

Clients participate in one-on-one counseling and SELF (Safety, Emotions, Loss & Future) psycho-educational peer support groups to re-establish safety, deal with difficult emotions, process their losses, and generate a vision for the future. In addition, HHP staff engage with clients’ family and friends, who are often traumatized by the injury to their loved one, to help prevent retaliation.

On average, clients and their families are engaged in the program for six months to one year. 

HHP currently provides services at Hahnemann Hospital, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Temple Hospital, Einstein Medical Center, and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.