Faces of Hope: DOVE & Elder Justice

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we recognize Center for Hope’s DOVE and elder justice programs. As part of Center for Hope’s programming outreach this month, we are offering a variety of events and initiatives to raise awareness about violence that is inflicted on partners and seniors in our community.  

These events are designed to provide an understanding of intimate partner abuse and unhealthy behavior patterns that are used to maintain power and control over one partner in a relationship. These tools are critical to combatting and preventing domestic violence in the community. Everyone should be aware of the signs and know how to help those facing intimate partner violence.  

Center for Hope’s DOVE program is based at Northwest Hospital and provides support for thousands of survivors of domestic violence in Baltimore County.

Center for Hope’s elder justice program partners with experts at Levindale and Sinai Hospital to provide rapid response to all forms of elder abuse. All of Center for Hope’s programs provide outreach, intervention and prevention strategies for community members to live safely with dignity and respect. 

If you have questions or want to learn more about either program, click here.

Imagine Hope Art Collection Campaign

Construction continues on Center for Hope’s new building and we are on track to move into the new space in early 2022. As we think about our new building’s interior, we have launched IMAGINE HOPE, a campaign to curate a collection of art to adorn the walls. Art connects mind to body and both HOPE and ART have been proven to be positive mechanisms for change and predictors for well-being. HOPE helps people heal from trauma and abuse and ART can strengthen healing and lift the human spirit.

As part of IMAGINE HOPE, Center for Hope is looking for art that inspires hope through positive imagery to warmly welcome everyone who visits the building. This campaign will  spotlight artistic diversity and the amazing creative talent in our Greater Baltimore community and beyond. We are looking for donated pieces of art to be a meaningful gift so those who visit the Center can draw strength and joy from your work to help them recover and heal. 

If you know an artist who may be interested in participating in the Imagine Hope project, please pass along this link:

https://lbhcenterforhope.wordpress.com/imagine-hope/

Contact IMAGINE HOPE at imaginehope@centerforhope.com with any questions or if you need more information.

Cheers for Peers

We are pleased to announce that in conjunction with recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the October Cheers for Peers Employee of the Month is Arielle Faulkner, who is part of the DOVE team.

Arielle stood out as this month’s recipient because she is always willing to step up for her team and for her clients. From providing crisis intervention to longer term case management with clients, and conducting trainings in the hospital, community and virtually, Arielle never stops working on behalf of victims. As an example, throughout the pandemic, Arielle has maintained close ties to the community and received many donations of diapers, clothes and self-care boxes for clients.

Over the past few months, Arielle has helped shelter clients during evenings, nights and weekends. It is important to remember that these are challenging cases that frequently take a lot of time and effort. But Arielle continues to step up and go above and beyond. August was an especially challenging time for Arielle personally. Despite that, she covered the hotline and shelter while a colleague was on vacation and managed several arduous cases. She has also assisted with on-boarding and training a new staff person, working collaboratively to ensure everything is covered and cases have thorough follow-up. The DOVE staff are lucky to have Arielle and appreciate all of her hard work!

Cheers of Peers also recognizes Curley Newgent for her continued work with diversity training through Training Institute programming. Curley has developed trainings such as ‘Unique Strengths of the LGBTQ+ Community’ which was developed with Freestate Justice and presented at Baltimore Pride. Curley also did a fantastic job of coordinating all of Center for Hope’s summer camp trainings, which involved being in touch with and maintaining positive relationships with administrators from approximately 25 organizations all over the country, scheduling and facilitating trainings and providing assistance to other staff trainers. Everyone at Center for Hope is so grateful to have Curley as a coworker.

Imagine Hope

CALL TO ARTISTS

Center for Hope, a comprehensive violence intervention and prevention center based in Baltimore, MD, is embarking on an initiative called IMAGINE HOPE to fill our soon-to-be new building with art that brings hope and healing to people of all ages who have experienced trauma. We provide crisis responses and solutions for survivors and caregivers impacted by a variety of traumas, including child abuse, human trafficking and exploitation, domestic and family violence, community violence and elder abuse.

We are seeking artists to create art for our new 32,000 square foot building to help clients move past their trauma and evoke a sense of peace and joy during a difficult time in their lives, with an aim to recover and heal. We want to spotlight artistic diversity and the amazing creative talent in our Greater Baltimore community and beyond. As artists, you especially know how powerful your creations can be for the human spirit. Donating one of your pieces is a meaningful gift to those who can draw strength and joy from your work. Our new building is scheduled to open in March 2022.

About the IMAGINE HOPE Project

As children, teens, families and caregivers walk through our doors, we want them to feel enveloped with a sense of hope, peace and safety. The IMAGINE HOPE project’s goal is to help our clients see that they have a better future and they have the power to make it happen. Art connects mind to body. HOPE and ART are proven to be positive mechanisms for change and predictors for wellbeing. HOPE helps people heal from trauma and abuse and ART can strengthen healing and lift the human spirit. 

About Center for Hope

LifeBridge Health’s Center for Hope, the nation’s first comprehensive violence intervention and prevention center, has a mission to advance hope, healing and resilience for those impacted by trauma, abuse and violence through comprehensive response, treatment, education and prevention. Center for Hope integrates LifeBridge Health’s violence intervention programming into one location which includes a Child Advocacy Center (formerly Baltimore Child Abuse Center), DOVE-Northwest Hospital’s domestic violence program, Safe Streets Belvedere, Baltimore City’s human trafficking navigator, mental health services, violence response teams at Sinai Hospital and Grace Medical Center, community outreach and training and an elder justice program. 

How to Apply

Submit an application via mail or online at surveymonkey.com/r/imaginehope_artists by November 1, 2021. For more information, contact us at imaginehope@lifebridgehealth.org.

Back to Basics

Summer is almost over, and fall is around the corner. At Center for Hope, it is time to go back to school and back to the basics. The community outreach and education department is rolling out a Back to the Basics program to focus on the relationships and interactions between adults and children. It is important for all of us to understand how to best advocate for youth in our community, so their needs are met, and their boundaries are respected. While this information may seem basic, it is important to remind all adults just how critical a safe, healthy space is for our kids, especially during back to school time.

Over the next few months, our trainings will be focused on teaching adults – educators, after school program managers, church and synagogue leaders, recreation center leaders, community group organizers and others – how to ensure that the children in our community develop safely, in a healthy manner and with joy. It is our goal to educate all adults in our community on how to recognize if a young person is in a dangerous or threatening situation and what to do in that instance. We should all have the tools to be non-judgmental and supportive if a young person comes to us with a problem.

Our trainings will focus on the process of grooming: the manipulative manner in which perpetrators convince young people they are deserving of abuse and how the perpetrator then hides the abuse from the community. We will also discuss the legal definitions of abuse, the social-emotional and biological impact of trauma on a child’s development and supportive ways in which adults can intervene.

Our hope is that adults in all institutions in our community will take time to come back to the basics with us at Center for Hope. Whether we are reinforcing information you already know or shifting the paradigm about how you imagine child protection, our job is simple – to support the children in our world. Be sure to check our upcoming trainings page for these learning opportunities as we add them to our fall schedule. For more information about how to register for a training or host a training at your institution or organization, please contact Curley Newgent at Cnewgent@lifebridgehealth.org.

Blueprint for Child Protection

At its core, Center for Hope plays an integral role in preventing and responding to child abuse throughout the community. As part of this effort, Blueprint for Child Protection (Blueprint) was designed several years ago to specifically help support organizations assess the systems they have in place for child protection. Blueprint helps an organization to take stock of its child protection plan and ask: what is our Blueprint? To that end, the Blueprint formula helps any organization take inventory of staff and those coming into contact with kids, create and implement child protection policies, train staff and create a crisis plan, all with an eye towards the individual organization’s needs. This is a Blueprint for keeping kids safe.

The Blueprint process is efficient, flexible and adaptable to any organization. Child protection policies and education provide youth serving organizations the tools needed to protect children, support families and create a stronger organization.

The Leonard & Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation funded a generous charitable grant through 2021 that makes Blueprint available, free of charge, to the greater Baltimore Jewish community. Thanks to this grant, Blueprint has allowed child abuse experts to work collaboratively with community leaders to help establish the Jewish community of greater Baltimore as a leader in creating the safest environments for our children. Participation in this initiative is an investment in the children and the Jewish faith.

Center For Hope’s mission is to continue to expand Blueprint throughout the community and  develop the healthiest, safest youth serving organizations.

To learn more about Blueprint or to begin with the policy review process, please contact Barry Smith, community outreach & education coordinator at bsmith6@lifebridgehealth.org or 410-935-1958.

Cheers for Peers

Three cheers go to Amanda Duckett, mental health coordinator at Center for Hope and the most recent recipient of the Cheers for Peers Employee of the Month award. Amanda’s job, like so many at Center for Hope, requires her to deal with traumatized clients who have experienced unthinkable loss, abuse and violence. For the past nine months, Amanda has exhibited exemplary case management skills, working with one particular family who lost numerous relatives in a single homicide event. She has connected them with resources, supported them with their goals and made appropriate referrals. Amanda recognizes when to step in and when to simply be a source of support during a difficult time. Thanks to Amanda’s help, this family is on the road to healing and just recently began sharing their story publicly with the hope of spreading awareness and helping to curb violence in our city. That is the end goal – to end the cycle that is tearing apart families, neighborhoods and communities. We are lucky to have Amanda work with families like this one.

We also recognize the organizers of Safe Streets Safe Summer 2021 for their creativity and work in addressing violence in the city. This past summer, the Safe Streets Belvedere site joined together with the other nine Safe Streets sites in Baltimore to reach out beyond their neighborhoods to create a citywide cross-coordination response team to focus on community involvement. The collective group, including our Safe Street members Mary Henson, Steve Diggs, Jamal Crandell, Maurice Barksdale, Kevin Himple and Albert Brown launched its Safe Summer 2021 campaign, which is part of an overall comprehensive strategy to address violence in Baltimore. The new Safe Streets campaign aimed to encourage more violence prevention by identifying potential hotspots, increasing coordination among the ten Safe Streets sites and community groups and strengthening community involvement through canvassing and other efforts to make this the safest summer Baltimore has seen in years. Way to go team!

Faces of Hope: Safe Streets

Center for Hope’s Safe Streets Belvedere site is part of Baltimore City’s public health initiative to reduce shootings and homicides in the Park Heights community. The Safe Streets team has been working throughout the pandemic as essential workers, distributing food to thousands of community members, registering voters, sharing vaccine information and spreading the important message, “Stop shooting start living.” 

This summer, Safe Streets Belvedere is partnering with the nine other Safe Streets sites around Baltimore to launch Safe Summer 2021, trying to work towards the safest summer ever in Baltimore. There will be three city-wide events and several other smaller events at each site in July and August offering food, fun, resources and most importantly an opportunity for people to lean in with love.

On display at each of these summer events will be desks from Center for Hope’s Red Desk Project. The Red Desk Project was conceived to sound the alarm and raise public awareness about the dramatic increase in child homicide in Baltimore City year over year. During the Safe Summer events, participants will be able to create a positive message butterfly, in memory of those youth killed with gun violence in Baltimore. In the future, these butterflies will be hung in locations throughout Baltimore to express love and honor, and the hope that change can bring. Everyone in the community is invited to attend these events.

In an effort to engage the youth in the community, the Belvedere team is developing a Youth Radio Music Room located inside the Belvedere site. Youth will be able to report on community activities, learn about music and create stories and podcasts to express thoughts about how to improve their communities and stop the violence. Youth will also have an opportunity to partner with local colleges to understand how these skills can be used for career development. Look for an official opening of our Safe Streets site this fall. 

It is the goal of Center for Hope’s Safe Streets Belvedere to regularly partner with our community to build relationships and, most importantly, reduce or eradicate shootings and killings in the area. Take it from Park Heights lifelong resident Reginald Stringfellow, “Safe Streets presence helps my community feel safer.”

New Building Update

Construction on the new Center for Hope building, which broke ground November 2020, is moving along as expected. The new site located at 5400 Preakness adjacent to Sinai Hospital and Pimlico Racecourse will provide a collective home to over 120 staff members and provide 24 hour services to survivors of violence. Community members and partners will have access to resources for child abuse, witness to homicide, human trafficking, domestic violence, community violence and elder abuse from our team members in one central location. The concrete slab for the building foundation was poured in early July, steel beams started to be installed on July 7 and we will mark the conclusion of this first phase with a Topping Ceremony with the final beam signed by team members and the construction crew at DPR on July 30.

In addition to physical progress on the building, Center for Hope’s leadership and managers continue to assess ways to best help our clients in this unique new space. Changes to workflow are being considered, along with other advances that will offer a better client experience for everyone. The Center for Hope Advisory Council is forming a committee that will acquire meaningful art to add warmth and color to our interior spaces as well. 

Look for more updates in the months ahead as we move closer to the expected building completion date of February 2022. 

Save the Date: Robert I. Damie Race for Our Kids

On Sunday, October 24 LifeBridge Health will host the annual Robert I. Damie Race for Our Kids at the Baltimore Zoo. The event will include a 5K, a 10K and a one mile family fun walk, so there is something for everyone who wants to participate! The event will benefit Center for Hope’s Baltimore Child Abuse Center, the Herbert and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital and the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics Save-A-Limb Fund.

The 2021 event will be a hybrid format. For those who feel comfortable, please join us in person! For those who prefer to participate from home, you can walk or run your own race and still be part of the fun. For more information, visit raceforourkids.org.