It is both appropriate and timely that KRA chose its 2016 Community Care Campaign (CCC) to focus on two devastating consequences of neighborhood violence…PTSD in youth and young ex-offenders returning to the community seeking education, job-training and/or employment opportunities.
A September 2016 Washington Post article stated, “As a number of major American cities are reporting more homicides this year than last year, the overall number of killings in the country’s biggest cities has increased in 2016, with one city accounting for nearly half of the total spike. Chicago has experienced almost half of the overall increase in homicides…along with Washington and Baltimore…”, two other cities in which KRA operates workforce-development programs.
Kelly Butler, Trainer/Special Projects Coordinator, shared that a recent Chicago Tribune article reinforced this deplorable state-of-affairs, that in the Police Department’s 11th District—in which KRA operates the Garfield Workforce Center for the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership—shootings increased 78% and homicides 89%, compared to last year.
To gain a more in-depth understanding of PTSD in youth, KRA/Chicago reached out to the Urban Youth Trauma Center. In response, Liza Suarez, PhD, UYTC Co-director, with two associates, presented a “Lunch and Learn” on how trauma and PTSD are defined; signs and symptoms in youth; and most importantly, how KRA/Chicago can optimize this knowledge to integrate it effectively into its youth-services delivery system.
KRA/Chicago will continue to collaborate with the UYTC team, and to raise PTSD and trauma awareness through its Facebook page, and other avenues of communication, to support the youth of the 11th District and other Chicago communities.