Healing for a community plagued by trauma.
This organization initially began as a ministry that offered food, clothing, transportation assistance, document recovery and emergency relief to the community in 2011. With each can of food, each sweater, each bus pass and each voucher for assistance, a relationship in the form of a conversation was started.
While someone came starting to talk about their need for food or clothes, they would end up talking about the time they were evicted, the time they lost someone to gun violence or the time they were abused. If someone did not experience something of this nature, they knew someone who did. At that time, the organization knew greater healing, conversations and programming were needed to create resilient healing and healthy communities.
The Consultative Workshop
In 2012, members from the Orthodox Christian community began to engage the Hill District in a wider conversation about Community Trauma. This engagement was in partnership with Duquesne University and culminated in a Consultative Workshop in 2014. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, as a result of these conversations, began to work in partnership with the Orthodox Church and local community members to develop a technically advanced method to evaluate the health and wellbeing and resilience in the community. These partnerships resulted in a confluence of strategies that have become the basis for Trauma Informed Community Development (TICD).
As informed by the lived experience of trauma, both personal and collective, TICD is a framework that establishes and promotes resilient healing and healthy communities so that people can be healthy enough to sustain opportunities and realize their potential.
Creating healthy, healing micro-communities. One block at a time.
After four years of implementation and development, this work has achieved national attention with cohorts having been trained in the summer of 2018 from Crawford County, PA – Richmond, VA – Petersburg, VA – Indianapolis, IN – Kansas City, MO and a group from the North Side of Pittsburgh. Another group was trained in the summer of 2019 from Wind River Indian Reservation – Cleveland, OH – Titusville, PA – Braddock, PA – Sarasota, FL – New Britain, CT.
In the context of this work, these emerging national relationships have presented the opportunity to create a sustainable national learning collaborative of which Pittsburgh is at the epicenter. It is for this reason that this pioneering work is to be relaunched and rebranded as the Neighborhood Resilience Project. It will be the charge of this organization to facilitate a broad local impact in the area of community health, especially as it relates to community trauma. The organization is thus also working to become a clearing house for research that can more responsibly evaluate and interpret the impact of this work on the social determinants of health and more generally the culture of health in the community.