North Lawndale

Chicago police launch emergency assistance center for North Lawndale shooting victims

NBC Universal, Inc.

An emergency assistance center opened its doors Tuesday afternoon at Young Men’s Educational Network in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, right across the street from where police said a mass shooting injured 15 people over the weekend.

“It is important that the community, that the trauma as it it’s happening that we service that community and be in that community,” said Director Glen Brooks, Chicago Police Department Community Policing.

Cameras were not allowed inside to protect the privacy of those seeking services as they begin to heal from the trauma, but those hoping to aid the community were willing to discuss their critical mission.

“This trauma will not go unnoticed and will not be unrecognized when people are hurting and suffering,” said Executive Director Michael Trout, YMEN. “As a community we will be banded together with the resources necessary to make sure everyone feels supportive and cared for.”

About a dozen service providers were on site connecting people with resources from counseling to applying for victim compensation.

“People who need counseling services are going to do it at their speed and what’s comfortable,” said Brooks. “So what it is is really making sure they know what services are there, finding the services they’re most comfortable with and allowing that process to begin—that’s the key here today.”

While help is being provided inside, outside about two dozen outreach volunteers from three nonprofit organizations, including Chicago Cred canvassed the neighborhood to show support.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re back here for such a tragic event,” said Manager of Outreach Operations Terrence Henderson. “We definitely have to come to show our support and let everyone that was impacted by this incident know that we’re out here for support.”

Henderson told NBC Chicago the work is personal for him. His mother was murdered when he was younger.

“I just want the public to know that we are out here trying to make a difference, trying to transform the individuals’ minds this is a disease,” he said. “You’re not born violent, you have to learn that behavior.”

As the suspected gunman faces his day in court, the 15 victims continue to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“We don’t inherit generational wealth, what we inherit is generational trauma in which we try to come up with solutions to fix this in our community,” said Bennie Melton, UCAN outreach volunteer.

The Emergency Assistance Center opened from 12pm to 7pm. If you would like to connect to services and resources, you can call YMEN at 773-522-9636.

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