Interview with: Nephateri Hill & Brandi May
Briefly describe your program and the population that it serves.
The Kansas City Violence and Trauma Response Network (KCVTRN) is a multi-level intervention/prevention service designed to enhance identification and access to trauma support services for young men of color who are victims of crime. KCVTRN focuses on the increased use of evidence-based policies and practices in the community to better support youth survivors of violence. Case management services are provided to help identify and evaluate the needs of male survivors of violence to ensure that they are connected to appropriate community based services.
The program enhances coordination of community responses and trauma support services to young men who reside in Beats 331 and 332 within the KC, MO East Patrol Division.
What are you proudest of regarding your work through the SMSV grant?
KCVTRN is proud to be the first program Kansas City that intentionally works to identify and provide services to male survivors of violence. We are extremely proud to even be working in this space. It is gratifying to make survivors aware that there is an out. What you experienced as a child does not have to define who you are as an adult.
What new relationship or resource have you found to help move your work forward?
We have developed partnership with Healing Pathway Victim Services, who are dedicated to servicing youth ages 0-18, and their families who have lost a love one due to violence. This relationship has allowed us to ensure that youth are able to access mental health assessments and counseling, group therapy, and creative activities to interact with other youth and advocates to empower their healing process. Additionally, the merging of our Aim4Peace Violence Prevention Program with the Kansas City Health Department Division of Children, Family Health and Education has been very beneficial. The merger created more opportunities for our Network to have greater access to materials, information and resources for educating youth and their families on public health, violence prevention and living healthier lifestyles.
What is something positive a client or partner said about your work related to the SMSV grant?
Mr. Ford, who is a teacher at an alternative school where we facilitate Life Skills classes; has this to say. “Mr. Walker is doing a fantastic job. He has developed relationships with many of the students in my class. He is able to interject real life events into the lessons I have planned. The students are definitely more invested in the community than they were before his arrival. I appreciate RaVae being part of my class and his positive attitude has inspired me on more than one occasion when things became difficult”.
What have you learned that you will carry with you as you continue this work?
The power of connectivity. To understand that not one entity can do it all. We have a much stronger impact when we work together for the common goal of helping our community become whole, healthy, thriving, and filled with hope and healing.