PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s new help for local families devastated by gun violence.
A new RV is ready to hit the streets and help people get through some of the toughest times.
At most crime scenes you will find a victim, police, neighbors, family and yellow police tape.
What is not so visible is the trauma violence leaves behind.
Rev Paul Abernathy of Focus Pittsburgh wants to change that.
“At the impact of the trauma you know the symptoms of the drama we’ve experienced plays itself out in various ways, people who are unable to keep and maintain jobs who are broken by the distress of daily life not even knowing where their next meal will come from,” Abernathy says.
Soon you will see a new RV rolling onto a crime scene, to provide comfort, a place to feel safe and counseling as soon as something bad happens.
Abernathy says the R-V will provide a place to escape.
“The vehicle itself will be a safe space that people can come on from adults two children they will be able to come in and go through some stabilization time with some of our trained staff,” he says.
James-Brian Byers is the trauma response team coordinator.
He says the RV will be divided into sections.
“There will be up space for kids you know the way they play that entails having stuffed animals. I’d like to have a video game system you know because kids are going to have a different response to trauma,” Byers says.
This program is made possible by a grant from the health department to look at violence as a public health crisis.
Their initial focus will be Homewood, the Hill district, the north and south sides, Wilkinsburg, McKeesport and Duquesne.
Each area will have a team of volunteers trained in public safety, psychology, first aid, mental health and CPR.
Inside that RV will be a safe haven for people trying to digest what just happened.
Rev Abernathy says the impact of what happens in these moments can last a lifetime.
“You know one of those moments in the community is that very dark moment when the last patrol car, the last ambulance pull away.”
Right now the RV is getting outfitted and Focus Pittsburgh is looking for volunteers.