HCRT Summer Report

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Seasonal Staffing Report

July 1- August 30, 2020

Special thanks to vital support from

generous donors: Elizabeth Schiro and

Stephen Bayer, James and JoAnn Price,

Connecticut Health Foundation, American

Eagle Financial Credit Union and the

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


Introduction

The Role of the HCRT in 2020

Thanks to vital support from generous donors (Elizabeth Schiro

and Stephen Bayer, James and JoAnn Price, Connecticut Health

Foundation, the American Eagle Financial Credit Union and the

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving), Hartford Communities That

Care (HCTC) has remained focused on its mission of preventing and

reducing violence during the emergency-response recalibrations

of activity during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the work of pivoting to

coordinate critical services and implement violence interventions

backed by evidence, HCTC staff, volunteers and community partners

redesigned workloads to maintain existing services – and built new

capabilities to meet new, urgent needs. This included expanding the

services of the Hartford Crisis Response Team (HCRT), working with

local and statewide Hospital Violence Intervention Program (HVIP)

partners and hiring seasonal workers.

Since its inception in 2004, the HCRT has supported more than 1100

victims of gun violence and their families. Research has proven that

victims affected by violence are at higher risk to reengage with violence

or experience re-injury – a cycle that the HCRT frontline interveners

seek to break. These preventive efforts often begin at the hospital

bedside during the golden moment right after injury, when trained

specialists help victims make choices to support positive quality of life

and future outcomes. The HCTC partnership with Saint Francis Hospital

allows the frontline team members access to victims and families at

this most critical time, when crucial relationships can be built. Under its

current Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant, the Hartford Crisis Response

Team has been able to connect families with the trauma-informed

wraparound aid (health, mental health, and social services) so essential

to preventing and reducing crime in our community.

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Services Provided

Outreach to victims, families and loved ones goes beyond the

traumatic incidents; it must be alert to the chances of re-victimization.

Case managers assist families with housing and food support; the

VOCA process for funding funeral expenses and other monetary needs;

connecting victims of crime with at-home wound care and physical

health supports through Harriott Home Health Services; and physical

healing, through a partnership under which resident physicians are

available from the Family Medical Center (a UCONN Health and Trinity

Health New England Partner). Available as needed one day per week

for home visits, these doctors reduce the burden on victims’ caregivers


to find transportation – and mitigate emergency room return visits for

uncomplicated procedures such as the removal of stiches. In addition,

services extend to mental health care, with referrals to community

partner agencies specializing in trauma-informed, culturally responsive

therapies.

Hiring Seasonal Workers

In recent months, the impact from COVID-19 has been coupled with a

spike in violence in city neighborhoods, driving up the need for trained,

frontline intervention specialists to serve an already underserved

population. Recognizing this, HCTC has found it necessary to secure

funding for seasonal – and seasoned – staff to prevent and reduce

violence among the already vulnerable population. In our search for

qualified members of the community eager to serve, we were fortunate

to find seven, well-suited individuals:

1. Brother Carl Hardrick is a mentor and leader of nearly everyone

involved in Hartford crime prevention and intervention for more

than 60 years. He has availed himself as consultant, mentor, coach,

and seasoned Intervention Specialist.

2. Daniel Palmer has known Brother Carl Hardrick and Andrew Woods

for 25 years, growing up with their mentorship in his neighborhood

and through college (he graduated from the HBCU, Florida A&M).

A personal victim of senseless violence, Mr. Palmer was in surgery

when Brother Carl and Mr. Woods met with and provided support

to his family. Subsequent HCRT services ranged from in-home

nursing and physician care to tele-therapy. Motivated by these

experiences, Daniel was glad to join the HCRT when offered the

opportunity.

3. Timothy Fraylon is a well-known Hartford resident specializing in

youth development and peacebuilding efforts in the city.

4. Darlene Childs is a life-long, civically active Hartford resident with

deep ties to the governmental and nonprofit provider community.

She served with the HCRT for several years prior to the tragic

murder of her youngest son in January 2018.

5. Quron Jackson is a 26-year-old Hartford resident with cultural ties

to local youth and young adults. He is a single father of three who

raises and supports his young children, backed by his maternal

grandmother, also active in the community.

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6. Parishe Smith is an 18-year-old community organizer working at the

Blue Hills Civic Association. Parishe was recruited for this project

under a paid internship.

7. Johanna Schubert is a social worker and 10-year veteran of nonprofit

community work in the area. She manages communications

for the new CT-HVIP Collaborative, whose hospital, crisis response,

and legislative partners are working to strengthen HVIPs statewide.

These hires have proven to be perfectly timed. Our community has

endured a major uptick in violence since the start of the new fiscal

year, just as the uncertainties of the pandemic and widespread

unemployment have grown.

Families Affected: By the Numbers

Hartford Communities that Care data from January 1, 2020 to August

30, 2020, show that 121 victims were served by the Hartford Crisis

Response Team. Community outreach efforts include advocacy;

accompaniment to court and other case related appointments; case

management; referrals for medical care and clinical support; inclusion

in youth programs; filing for recovery of lost wages; resourcing medical

supplies; and applying for VOCA assistance. Drawing upon their

own lived experiences and the training provided by HCTC, the team

members led by Lead Interventionist Larry Johnson are present at crime

scenes and at the hospital, to provide comfort and logistical support to

families affected by violent crime. Each seasonal staff member received

two weeks of intensive training on subjects that include CPR and

First Aid; De-escalation, the history and relevance of Hospital Based

Intervention Programs (HVIPs),and working with people with Limited

English Proficiency (LEP).

Expanding and Supporting the Connecticut Hospital Violence

Intervention Program (HVIP)

HCRT is part of the national network of more than three dozen HVIPs

coordinated by the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (The

HAVI), which provides policy and training assistance. The HAVI network

shares best practices across the U.S. and internationally, optimizing

the trauma-informed efforts of medical staff and trusted community

agencies to serve and inform victims and their families.

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The Connecticut Hospital Violence Intervention Program (CT-HVIP)

is a collaborative of partners coordinated by Hartford Communities

That Care (HCTC) in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Medical


Hartford Area Gun and Stabbing Victims

Emergency Room Gunshot and Stabbing Data

Note: Not all gunshot victims treated in Hartford

area hospitals were shot in Hartford

2017

2018

2019

2020

Jan-Aug

Shooting/Stabbing

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

7

4

4

10/13

Hartford Hospital

99

106

101

79/84 (Jan-June)

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center

109

97

98

78/48

Total Shooting and

Stabbing Victims YTD: 312

• Established in 2004, by Hartford Communities That Care, Saint Francis Hospital and the

YMCA of Greater Hartford. To date, served 1,100 fatal and non fatal violent crime victims

and families

• Partnerships: Blue Hills Civic Association, COMPASS Peacebuilders, Mothers United

Against Violence, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Healthcare, the YWCA

Hartford Region, the City of Hartford Rapid Response Team and various other community

and faith-based partners

• 24-7-365: Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Support Services

From July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020, served 116 unique gun shot and

stabbing victims

From April 1, 2020-June 30, 2020, served 43 unique victims/

families (Peak of COVID-19)

Since July 1, 2020-August 31, 2020, responded to serve 43 unique

gun shot and stabbing victims

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Center, Connecticut Violence Intervention Program, Hartford Healthcare,

Saint Francis Hospital; Yale New Haven Hospital and HCTC’s Hartford

Care Response Team and others. Legislative and advocacy partners

include Congressman John Larson, State Senator Douglas McCrory,

State Representatives Matt Ritter and Jillian Gilchrest, and the numerous

community and health care partners include The HAVI. On September

17, 2020, the CT HVIP will hold its first full meeting since before the onset

of COVID-19, providing updates on how hospitals and agencies and

The HAVI have pivoted to address the pandemic crisis while maintaining

the critically important focus on violence prevention. The three CT HVIP

work groups (Research and Evaluation, Policy, and Training and Technical

Assistance) are slated to update their developments – and the entire

group will frame its goals on how to best move forward to strengthen

existing programming while supporting emerging HVIP partnerships

across the state.

Doubling Our Efforts

Violence prevention is not unique to the City of Hartford. In New Haven,

a dedicated team of frontline professionals and hospital partners also is

working to reduce incidents of crime. Executive Directors Leonard Jahad

of the Connecticut Violence Intervention Program (CVIP) in New Haven

and Andrew Woods of HCTC in a series of meetings have brought their

staffs together this summer to learn from the experiences of others –

and to support those working in frontline positions. These meetings

have included The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (the HAVI)

national policy experts, who also are expert in training and technical

assistance for program professionals.

On August 19, 2020, HCTC hosted a Front-Line Capacity Building

Session where the HAVI presented an overview of their intensive

five-day training that can lead to the nationally recognized Violence

Prevention Professional (VPP) Certification. Twenty (20) front-line

intervention specialist representing the New Haven based-Connecticut

Violence Intervention Program and the five Community Safety

Coalition organizations: Blue Hills Civic Association, COMPASS Youth

Collaborative, Mothers United Against Violence, Wilson Gray YMCA and

Hartford Communities That Care were in attendance.

To make the most of our respective efforts in Hartford and New Haven, our

frontline workers are building a mutually supportive community, sharing

stories and best practices for violence reduction in their own communities.

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Ways You Can Support (or continue to support) This Work

The Hartford Care Response Team served 42% of the victims of violent


crime in the city from January to August 2020. According to data from

Saint Francis, Hartford Hospital, and Connecticut Children’s Medical

Center, a total of 312 people were victims of gun shots or stab wounds

during that time period in Hartford*. 121 victims of violent crimes received

interventions from HCRT representing almost half of victims.

* Not all victims injured were hartford residents.

Victims of Violence Served by the HCRT

Year to Date 2020*

*January- August 2020 Source- Hospital records and HCTC data

312

Victims of Violent Crime in

Hartford

42%

121 Victims of Violent Crimes

Recieved HCRT Services

To continue the prevention and reduction of crime in this

heightened environment, when rates of violence are rising amidst

a 100-year pandemic, Hartford Communities that Care could use

additional assistance to:

1. Sustain at least two seasonal Intervention Specialists year-round,

with additional resources to pay a per diem rate for an “On-Call”

Intervention Specialist to be assigned to the Hartford Care Response

Team.

2. Sustain the Administrative Coordinator for the CT-HVIP Collaborative,

enabling ongoing support for workgroups and coordinated

management of the CT-HVIP Collaborative.

3. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have been able to secure

funds to enroll between 15-20 Intervention Specialists in the 35-

hour Violence Prevention Professional (VPP) Certification program,

facilitated by the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention. This

advanced training will raise the level of care provided and will allow

for statewide continuity of intervention methods.

4. Support Harriott Home Health services in providing continuing

post-injury care to improve the recovery process. These services

support those with lack of access to adequate healthcare and lack of

insurance, a problem often reported by mostly black male victims.

Many survivors of violent puncture injuries have trouble with wound

care. Harriott Home Health Services has and continues to bridge

the gap in care for victims of violence by providing complex nursing

and wound care supplies at home. Donor support would help

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in purchasing costly wound care supplies and prevent costly rehospitalizations

due to infections.

Andrew Woods, Executive Director

awoods@hartfordctc.org

Larry Johnson, Lead Intervention Specialist

LJohnson@hartfordctc.org

Shenell Benjamin, Lead Case Manager

SBenjamin@hartfordctc.org

Hartford Communities That Care

2550-Main Street, Hartford, Ct. 06120

www.hartfordctc.org

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