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AG Platkin announces recipients of $2.9M in federal funds to support Trauma Recovery Centers

New Jersey’s innovative crime victim centers provide assistance to underserved populations

NEW JERSEY – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced Monday that over $2.9 million in federal grant funding will be distributed to four organizations to support the Office’s Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) Program.

The funds will be used to continue support of two existing TRCs and to establish two new program sites. Launched in 2020 using federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding.

The TRC Program provides trauma-informed services to victims of crime within the communities where they live. The grant recipients are non-profit organizations that offer services in designated parts of the State.

“Keeping New Jerseyans safe means ensuring that crime victims have access to services that will address their physical and emotional needs,” Platkin said. “The funding announced today for our Trauma Recovery Centers empowers survivors through a trauma-informed approach and heals communities by addressing the long-term effects of prolonged exposure to violence.”

Created by Attorney General Platkin in September 2022, the New Jersey Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA) oversees the State’s commitment to providing resources for victim services, placing a particular emphasis on enhancing services to underserved communities in an effort to break the cycle of repeat victimization. VIVA’s Office of Violence Intervention and Prevention provides an infrastructure of support for programs that operate in the places where they are most needed.

The initiatives under the TRC Program complement Hospital-Based Violence Intervention ProgramsCommunity Violence Intervention Programs, and other victim services  in New Jersey.

“The ongoing support of TRCs is integral to VIVA’s mission of building safer, more resilient communities,” said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of VIVA. “These grants will support a network of providers whose breadth of services reach historically vulnerable, underserved populations.”

“Trauma Recovery Centers serve the important work of promoting and supporting healing for individuals and communities in the aftermath of violence,” said Steven Campos, Director of VIVA’s Office of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance. “The program makes sure that victims have access to comprehensive services and the guidance to navigate seeking and receiving those services.”

All grant recipients are required to establish programs using the University of California San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center Manual, which outlines the following Core Elements of TRCs, among others:

  • Assertive Outreach and Engagement with Underserved Populations. TRCs conduct outreach and provide services to survivors of violent crime who typically are unable to access traditional services.
  • Serving Survivors of All Types of Violent Crime. TRCs serve survivors of a range of violent crimes, including sexual assault; domestic violence; battery; crimes of violence (shootings, gang violence, and other forms of community violence); vehicular assault; and human trafficking. They also serve family members of homicide victims.
  • Comprehensive Mental Health and Support Services. TRCs provide a variety of structured and evidence-based mental health and support services, including but not limited to crisis intervention, individual and group treatment, medication management, substance abuse treatment, and case management.
  • Clinical Case Management. Assertive case management includes, among other things, accompanying clients to court proceedings and medical appointments; assistance in filing of applications to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office; filing of police reports; assistance with obtaining safe housing and financial entitlements; linkages to medical care; providing assistance in securing employment; and acting as liaison to other community agencies, law enforcement, and support service providers.
  • Use of Trauma-Informed, Evidence-Based Practices. Trauma-informed services are designed to meet the needs of trauma survivors by using a holistic approach intended to reduce the impact trauma has on mental, physical, and emotional health over a lifetime.  Holistic approaches can include but are not exclusive to various forms of mental health therapy, support groups, support accessing social services, recreational and fun activities in the community.

Recipients of the TRC grants must offer outreach and services to crime victims who typically are unable to access traditional services and serve victims of a wide range of crimes.

The grant recipients are: 

Recipient Project Title Service Area Award
Foundation for University Hospital Trauma Recovery Center at University Hospital Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union Counties $750,000
Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey* Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey – Trauma Resource Center Camden and Gloucester Counties $747,753
Newark Community Street Team Newark Community Street Team’s Trauma Recovery Center Hudson County $737,811
Center for Family Services, Inc.* Trauma Recovery Center Statewide $750,000

*denotes new TRC for 2023

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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