So far this year, there have been 173 homicides in the Kansas City area, and the vast majority have been shootings. Several organizations around the metro area offer resources for victims of gun violence and their family and friends. Here are some of the options:
Ad Hoc Crime Squad
A married couple from Kansas City was shot in their home in 2016.
The husband died, the mother was injured and their house was left riddled with bullet holes. With the main breadwinner dead, the family didn’t know what to do.
The Ad Hoc Group Against Crime — a nonprofit that works to bridge the community and the criminal justice system to help reduce violence — put them up in a hotel for about a month and a half, said Damon Daniel, the organization’s president. “We ended up helping them find a new place.”
This is just one life-changing incident of gun violence seared into Daniel’s memory from his time with the organization.
“There are bullet-to-the-skin incidents, but there are also people whose property has also been destroyed,” Daniel said.
Through a partnership with the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office called Caring for Crime Survivors, the group helps families rebuild their homes after a violent incident and provides additional services to victims.
“Part of the reason we do home repair and crime scene cleanup is because it helps reduce trauma,” Daniel said.
To contact the Ad Hoc Group’s 24-hour community hotline, call 816-753-1111. For the youth hotline, call 816-531-2665. For more information on how to participate or donate, visit adhocgroupkc.com.
The Ad Hoc Group Against Crime partners with the University of Kansas Health System through a program called REVIVE, which stands for Reducing the Impact of Violence Through Intervention and Victim Empowerment.
The program focuses on patients, aged 12-24, who are victims of violence, and also helps their families. When a victim arrives at the hospital, a referral can be made, possibly avoiding a future trip to the hospital.
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is be able to support that young person and that family to deal with these factors that resulted in why this young person might have been involved in a violent episode,” Jomella said. Watson-Thompson, the program manager. director. “Both locally and nationally, oftentimes, older people or young adults are impacted the most, disproportionately impacted, as well as our youth of color.”
To learn more about REVIVE, visit communityhealth.ku.edu and search for “revive.”
Conflict Resolution Center
The Conflict Resolution Center provides mediation and works to educate the community to reduce acts of violence.
“We work in a lot of different areas, which is different for a non-profit organization, but we’re able to cover almost any aspect of life and have processes where we can help people resolve conflicts peacefully,” said Annette Lantz- Simmons, group executive director.
The center provides education and support to those affected by violence.
“I don’t think people realize how productive gun violence is,” Lantz-Simmons said. “I think for a lot of people, they think this is happening somewhere else.”
To contact the Conflict Resolution Center, call 816-461-8255 or visit ccrkc.org. To make a donation, visit ccrkc.org/donate.