Home Violence intervention program in Newport News receives support from Everytown

Violence intervention program in Newport News receives support from Everytown

Crystal Graham
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The Everytown Community Safety Fund, part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, will provide $100,000 in funding for Riverside Health System’s Hand in Hand Hospital violence intervention program in Newport News.

The grant is part of Everytown’s $2.35 million investment in 35 community-based violence intervention organizations.

Hand-in-Hand is Riverside Health System’s hospital-based violence intervention program that combines efforts of hospital staff with community partners to provide advocacy, support, safety planning, case management and trauma-informed care to violently injured patients and their families.

“Riverside Health System’s Hand in Hand Hospital Violence Intervention Program leverages the skills of hospital staff, those treating individuals and families directly affected by gun violence, to create a holistic support system,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “Gun violence is a public health crisis affecting our nation, and I commend the Everytown Community Safety Fund for seeing the benefits of investing in community health systems. The Hand in Hand program is a grassroots effort centered on community support and wraparound services that will create transformational and sustainable change in Newport News and the surrounding communities.”

Some of Hand in Hand’s programming includes help navigating the healthcare system and criminal justice process, aid connecting to mental health services and creating a safety plan, assisting with Virginia Victims’ Fund application and referrals to additional community resources.

“Our hospital-based violence intervention program, Hand-in-Hand, delivers bedside advocacy and support to victims of community violence when they enter our hospital for medical treatment after a traumatic event such as gun related injuries, stabbings and assaults,” said January Serda, grants coordinator of the Hand in Hand Program at Riverside Health. “The Everytown Community Safety Fund award will support safety planning for the victim of violence and their family upon discharge from the hospital. The awarded funds will be used for crisis support to victims to help reduce risk factors of violence and promote positive alternatives to violence such as safe crisis housing, food, transportation to future medical appointments, and access to mental health resources.”

Since 2019, the Everytown Community Safety Fund has granted $10.6 million in support of 117 community-based violence intervention organizations implementing promising strategies, like street outreach, hospital-based violence interventions and youth development and counseling, in more than 67 cities.

This latest round will provide grant recipients $100,000 in two disbursements over two years as well as access to quarterly calls, peer convenings, capacity-building trainers, national conferences, as well as support from Everytown, and its grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, and national partners.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.